Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘big brother


Niko loves his little sis. Within moments of first meeting her, he was smiling broadly and hugging her on my hospital bed, and a few minutes later, doting on her in one of the chairs. He seems so proud and happy to have her around (phewf…!). And I am so happy to see the two of them together.

The first night we brought her home, was reminiscent of that famous movie scene from Streetcar Named Desire, where Marlon Brando bellows “Stella!” up the stairs. And here’s the reason why…

Niko had managed to stay up past his bedtime, which is essentially a no-fail recipe for tears and exaggerated displays of emotion. As I sat on the couch with baby Stella and he was hauled off up the stairs, despite his bouts of adamant protest, he reached for the railing and yelled “Stelllll-aaa!!!” through his tears. “Niko hold STELLLLLLLL-AAA!”…”Stellllll-aaa!”

Both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Ah well, there will be plenty of time for displaying his affections in the days weeks years to come lifetime ahead.

But for that moment, it was off to bed!


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As mentioned before, I’ve been trying to figure out how best to introduce our little lady to her big brother. Since my previous post, I’ve been given a few more pointers:

  • the first time Niko meets the baby, she should be in her carseat, or some other neutral area (not cradled in Mommy’s or Daddy’s arms)
  • he should be allowed to go up to her, touch her and check her out
  • get him involved in an artsy way

I’m planning on doing all three. To elaborate on the third point, my friend Heather suggested getting Niko involved in making some sort of artwork to hang in his little sister’s room – a welcome-to-our-family gift of sorts.

The idea is simple really: using leftover paint from the baby’s walls create a toddler-made painting. We happened to have some blank canvasses and acrylic paints in the basement so away we went. In total it took about 10 minutes a day for a period of 4 days.

Day 1 Purple: using the purple paint from his sister’s room, Niko finger-painted the background

Day 2 Green: using a 2″ brush, Niko painted on the second layer (I’d envisioned lime green, but as an amateur self-mixer this was the closest I could get, using the blue, yellow and white paints we had on hand)

Day 3 Yellow: using a small paintbrush, I encouraged Niko to make circles on his masterpiece

Day 4 White: using leftover trim paint, I had planned to glob it on and then have Niko blow through a straw to create a special effect – turns out the globs were too thick, and at times Niko sucked in instead of the reverse. And there was that one time he turned the straw around and put the painted end in his mouth. Ah well…live and learn. In the end, we dipped a small paint brush in the paint and sort of shook it onto the canvas. I also tried to get his hand print in the bottom right corner. A toddler-style signature, similar to the greasy ones that grace the walls of my house…

And presto, c’est fini! Overall an artistic success and I love the way it looks hanging in the baby’s room. Great work Little Man!

All we need now? The baby!

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We are looking forward to welcoming our new baby, and Borys and I know full well what to expect (at least we think we do…). We’re old pros by now, right?

But Little Niko, soon to be Big Brother Niko, may be in for a bit of a shocker. Just as Frasier our poodle got bumped to second fiddle when Niko was born, Niko will now have to share in the limelight of our love and affection. Note: I am not comparing Niko to my dog…exactly. He’s not going to be playing second fiddle. But all the time and attention that was once solely his, will now need to be shared.

Personally, I like to think of it as our love growing, not dividing, but I am not sure how to best impart this idea on the big-brother-to-be.

I’ve put a lot of thought (and a bit of research) into strategies for making this life-changing transition as smooth as possible.

1) I bought a couple of storybooks about welcoming a new baby. The focus being on all the big boy things Niko can do and what he’ll be able to help us with once the baby arrives: baths, etc.

So far these books have been his self-selected bedtime stories a grand total of ONE time. But sometimes I get to the pick the story…

2) We refer to the baby by name and he seems to get it.

Whether or not he thinks that’s just the name for my growing tummy as opposed to the actual person inside me, has yet to be seen.

3) He has been united with my old Cabbage Patch dolls: Suzy and Toby. We practice holding them properly, loving them and taking care of them. Sometimes he sits Suzy up against the wall and says: “Watch Suzy. Watch!” while he shoots hoops or races around in the basement.

Other times he just tosses her aside on her head.

4) He helped us paint the room for the new baby.

At least he got invited up for the last few minutes to help cover the last empty spot on the llast wall. He enjoyed it though.

So time is ticking toward our little girl’s due date (January 1), and only time will tell what his reactions will be toward this new family member. But I have a feeling he’s going to be a great big brother!


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