Sunday, June 8, 2008

Making Family Ties

Seems like everywhere I go with Bug and Dos, someone asks Bug, "Is that your baby?"

Bug is a very literal kid. When someone asks her this stupid question, I can see the look in her eyes. "Nooooo. It's obviously NOT my baby. It's my mom's. Duh." But she's too shy to say anything so she just gives them the silent treatment.

The questions keep coming. "Are you a good sister? Do you love your baby? Are you sweet to the baby? Do you help your mommy with the baby?" Bug never answers any of these questions so I do the talking for her. The answer is, yes, she is a wonderful big sister and a wonderful helper.

Bug met her little sister for the first time on the day we checked out of the hospital. The moment they laid eyes on each other, Bug went silent and stayed that way for about four hours. She stared at Dos, watched me with her, held her in her lap, touched her hands and stroked her head. When she finally decided it was safe to speak again, she said, "I love my little baby sister." Did your heart just go ::squish:: or was that just me?

As Dos comes out of the CrySuckSleep Blob phase and more into the Real Live Little Person phase, she takes more and more notice of her big sister. When Bug cries, Dos looks concerned and muh-muh-muhs a pout. When Bug laughs, Dos is wide-eyed and chuckles cautiously. "Is this funny? 'Cause she thinks it's funny. I think it's funny, right? Huh. huhuhuhuhuhhhh...." Dos is just happy to be in Bug's orbit right now. It's lovely and I wish it could stay that way forver. But being a baby sister myself, I know that it won't.

One day, they'll be fighting over toys, the next it'll be clothes. Please, God, let them never fight over a boy because that just isn't worth it and how do you moderate an argument like that? I can't use the "share" command with that one.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the Bug because having Dos in the picture has rocked her world like nothing else. She went from being star of "The Bug Show" with no co-stars and two adoring fans to being a bit player in "The Family Von Nutters." I feel sorry for Dos, too because she'll never get the crazy amount of attention that the Bug got the first two years of her life.

Grinch was always sure he wanted two kids. His two older brothers had each other as playmates and seemed happy as clams to him. He got left out a lot and figures if he'd had a sibling, he would have had a lifelong playmate, too. I took a lot more convincing. I had six older siblings and they regarded me familial bacteria until I was well into my 20s. I didn't think having siblings guaranteed anything other than two decades of misery.

So here we are with two kids and the optimist in me says, "Look! They love each other! Yay!" the pessimist that still feels the sting of a million brotherly wedgies says, "Give it time. They'll be killing each other before you know it."

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