As I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, the most frequent question I received was 'how are you feeling' (miserable, whether I told you or not, I was miserable). It was generally followed by, 'are the girls excited?' Now they both claimed to be excited. Ryann was often asking when baby sister was going to come out, she was looking forward to helping me by being Elsie's playmate. Elsie was constantly grabbing my belly and always had to kiss and hug baby sister goodnight. But there is no way Elsie was really prepared for what was going to happen. And while Ryann had an idea, I don't think she had a true concept of what it would be like for me to bring home another baby.
I'm happy to report that both girls are doing GREAT with Thea. Ryann was smitten with her from day one. The first week she asked to hold her a lot. She has been super helpful grabbing me things I need for Thea. I can't say she has been perfect with Elsie, but she has certainly kept her entertained most of the time. My heart swells when Ry holds Thea, the look on her face, I just can't get over it. I feel like they are going to have a special bond.
Honestly I was the most worried about how Elsie would react. Elsie is a mama's girl through and through. She always wants me to do everything for her, and wants to be with me all the time. I thought she'd be majorly upset with me needing to take care of Thea all of the time. And to some extent that was true. But thankfully she has never been mad that I'm generally occupied with Thea, more just ticked if someone tries to help her with stuff that I usually do. Changing her diaper, getting her dressed, fixing her hair, putting her down for nap and bed, those are all things that I took charge of. For the most part she has conceded to other people helping, but not nap and bed time. She freaks out if anyone else tries to take over those tasks. We've been able to finagle it that I can generally be available for those, but I've also been reading her stories while nursing, or holding a screaming Thea.
I was surprised how uninterested Elsie was in Thea when we first brought her home. She had no desire to hold her, and generally wanted her nowhere near her. E was curious, and would look at her while she was in the rock n play, but didn't want to help me with things. She really didn't want to touch her. However we made big strides this past weekend. Elsie actually WANTED to hold Thea. I quickly exploited her interest and took a couple of photos. She lasted about 20 seconds before telling me she was all done and to take her back, but since then Elsie has been a lot more receptive to Thea. My favorite though, was one evening Thea was fussing on the couch while I was grabbing something. I looked over to see Elsie literally toss a pacifier at her. No attempt to put it in her mouth or anything, just dropped it by her face. I see where she was going, I applaud her semi effort to comfort her sister, but it was too funny.
The girls are by no means obsessed with Thea. I wouldn't say they ignore her, but they just don't direct a lot of their attention her way. They are too busy playing with each other. I'm fine with that. It means I can worry a little less about them smothering her, falling one her, etc. And I am excited for the day that Thea can join in on their fun.