Good thing for the plexiglass, because the toddler’s immediate reaction upon meeting Scrunchy Face was, “I want to open it!”
And so began a months-long struggle to ensure that my very playful first child didn’t tear into my just-born second child with the ferocity of a kid ripping into the last, wrapped Christmas present on earth.
Saucer Eyes, thank goodness, never showed any jealousy of or hostility toward Scrunchy Face, but I still wasn’t about to let my rambunctious toddler — known for sometimes sitting on his friends just for kicks — anywhere near his newborn brother.
I wasn’t just worried about accidental smushings. I was also, of course, concerned that while sharing his love, Saucer Eyes would share the various and sundry germs he picks up at preschool, the playground and whatever dusty corners he goes venturing into when mommy’s head is turned. He’s a friendly kid — if germs could talk, I’m sure Saucer Eyes would be running up to me in no time, proclaiming, “Mommy, meet my new best friend, Ebola!”
Moms like Hollow Tree Ventures blogger Robyn Welling share my fears. Welling, a contributor to the hilarious motherhood anthology, “I Just Want to Pee Alone,” said this of her experience photographing her older children with their baby sibling: “You can bet I’m hovering just out of frame, ready to swoop in if I think one of them might sneeze/cough/hiccup/breathe.”
In a post last month, Babble’s Heather Turgeon gave some excellent advice on newborn-sibling interaction, suggesting that older siblings touch the baby’s feet as much as they want instead of the hands and face.
We followed similar advice in the beginning. But in the last month or so, with Scrunchy Face growing older and bigger, I’ve finally loosened up. At a recently family gathering, when Saucer Eyes ever so gingerly put his hand on his little brother’s back, I didn’t shoo him away. I — gulp — let them hug.
And it was glorious.
Check out ScrunchyFace and Saucer Eyes plus nine other examples of sibling love below.
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