Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jackson and the Baby

While I was in the hospital, my mom gave Camryn a new baby doll, complete with some clothes that matched Adelyn's. Camryn loved the doll, but she wasn't the only one who wanted this new toy: Jackson fell in love the the "bee-bee" doll and tried to hijack it for himself. So my mom made a trip to Target and got Jackson his own baby doll- one that makes goo-ing sounds and moves when you walk near it. He happily played with it- putting it in the bouncy seat and pushing it around in his baby stroller (or chucking it up in the air and catching it-- hey that's what daddy does with him) - for hours.

I wasn't sure how Jackson would react to having a new baby. He was not old enough to understand in advance that mommy would be having a baby. I was worried that he would not take kindly to being ousted from his place as baby of house. I shouldn't have worried. When Jackson saw that we had a "bee-bee," just like his, he was thrilled. He would stand next to the baby, giggling, point at her and say, "Beh-bee! Bee-bee!" over and over. At least 5 times a day he will come over to her, lean down and put his cheek against her head.

The only problem we are having with the adjustment now is that Jackson loves the baby... a little too much. He understands the idea that we love the baby, but doesn't quite understand yet that he needs to be more gentle with his loves than he would be with Jared and Camryn. He sometimes tries to pet/pat/hug/push her with a little more, um, vigor than would be advisable. So I have to keep a constant watch to make sure that Jackson doesn't try to give Addy too much love.

Yesterday, Addy was sitting in her bouncy seat in the family room. I got up and walked into the kitchen to get something for one of the kids. When I turned around, Jackson had picked Addy up and was carrying her across the room (she was facing out and he was hugging her around the middle). I literally screamed and ran over to rescue her. Luckily, this didn't startle Jackson so much that he dropped her. He just looked at me perplexed like, "What's wrong with you, mom?" Thankfully, Addy wasn't hurt, but it still gave me a serious, serious scare. It's not like I went far or was gone long. It was only a few seconds and I was only about 15 feet away. I felt utterly helpless as to how I will be able to keep Jackson from killing her with love.

I called Dave in a panic and of course, he being a man, rather than reassuring me that this didn't happen because I am a bad mother and yes, I would be able to find a way to survive the next two years and keep both children alive without losing my mind, he set about to problem-solve the bouncy seat safety issue. We needed to make sure that Jackson couldn't pick Addy up again, so Dave suggested we get out the play pen and lay Addy down in that. The walls are too high for Jackson to touch her. Problem solved.

So today, out came the Pack-n-Play. When I put Adelyn down inside where he couldn't reach her, pat her head or rub his cheek on her hair, Jackson was upset and sadly cried, "Bee-bee! Bee-bee!" I walked into the kitchen, turned around to check and Jackson was shaking the pack-n-play back and forth. I ran over to rescue Addy from the earthquake and to try to distract Jackson with some other game. In the course of the morning, Jackson tried several ways to climb into the play pen, but to no avail. The last straw was later in the morning when I caught Jackson climbing on the stepstool (which he had dragged over to the play pen) about to climb in right on top of where Adelyn was laying. At this point I decided that today was going to be a no-dishes-done day. So much for trying to be productive. After all of this, Jackson's regular exploits of climbing up bar stools, walking on the counters, trying to reprogram the phone answering machine and emptying cupboards seem like a relatively calm and safe alternative by comparison. Maybe I'll clean my house next year...


Lara said...

When Chloe was brand new I was doing the dishes and didn't hear her crying. Bria (2) did, and brought her to me, but she was holding her around the neck. Scared me to death!

But then, I was talking to my adopted grandma, who was my next door neighbor all growing up and she remarked that she loved watching our generation parent, and that one of the things she really loved was how we let the older siblings really interact with the baby. She said she kept her babies out of the reach and sight of the older children (especially the younger older ones) as much as possible.

Anyway, good luck! jackson will figure it all out eventually, and perhaps the baby will even become old hat to him.

Greek Goddess said...

That's cute. You'll make it...somehow. My mom said I picked up my brand new brother when I was 2 1/2 and brought him to her saying: "he was crying" which he hadn't been.

LCM said...

OH my gosh! This isn't something we really ever had to deal with. Fiona made too much noise for Buttercup to want to get too close. Good luck, clean house next year? More like a shower next year! You really do have my sympathies.

Jadie said...

Oh my! Well, since Dave didn't quite do the job, I'll give it a go: You are an excellent mother, and yes, both your kids, and your sanity, will survive the next two years!

Suzie Petunia said...

This gives me a lot to look forward to! If you find a system that works, you MUST share it with me! But I also think God made babies soft, squishy, bouncy and resilient on purpose. He knew these little babies would have toddler siblings like Jackson and Alice to contend with!