Friday, April 30, 2010

Feeling anxious. And cuddly.

My little man is anxious. Quite frankly, so am I. Neither of us knows what to expect with the new baby in our lives; how he will affect our current mother-son relationship. Luckily, I have 34 years of life and 8-1/2 years of motherhood experience to temper my anxiety. I know that we'll be fine; that there will be adjustments to endure, sure, but that ultimately the expansion of our once small family will be a good thing for all of us.

Still, I find myself feeling clingy lately; wanting to wrap myself around The Kid and soak up every last second we have together unencumbered by a distracting newborn.

The Kid, on the other hand, has zero experience with siblings, but nearly 9 years of being an only child. He's understandably nervous. Initially, his nerves showed themselves through temper tantrums and surly moods. Those moods were punctuated with remarks like "I can't be the son you wish you had!" and "I'll never be who you want me to be!" and "I'm the worst son ever!" It was all very melodramatic and, at times, heartbreaking. I did my best (which wasn't usually all that great) to reassure him without catering to his emotional outbursts.

Happily, we seem to have moved beyond that phase and into one of cautious optimism. The Kid will still occasionally throw out an "It doesn't seem like you like me anymore," but now he does it without screaming and crying and seems willing to believe me when I tell him he's completely mad. He's now just as likely to ask me questions about the baby, suggest names (mostly ridiculous), and share his mostly positive imaginings of what it will be like to have a little brother.

But he's feeling a little clingy these days too. Our nightly reading time is full of snuggles and he begs me to stay with him for just 10 more minutes at the end of every chapter. He even happily lets me hug him sometimes, something I've had to force out of him for the last several years. (Kisses are still not allowed, but he doesn't know I sneak into his room after he falls asleep and plant a big wet one on whatever bit of sweaty flesh is peeking out from under his mound of blankets. HA!)

I'm hoping the next phase has The Kid feeling more confident. But... is it wrong if I don't mind the clingy right now?


Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Maybe I need to have another baby so that the 8yo will go back to kissing and cuddling me?!

Actually, sometimes he still loves a good cuddle. Just not in front of his friends. ;)

Enjoy the extra love. When the baby comes, I have no doubt that The Kid will be giving the love to his baby brother. It'll be fine. After bubs is born, you can just make sure that when he sleeps, to take some time to sit with The Kid and read a book together, or just cuddle on the couch and watch tv. That's all they want. Just a little attention. And include him with bubs at every opportunity you can. He can help with bath, feeding (when bubs is bigger) - that sort of thing.

I think bubs' arrival will surprise you both!

Smiling, Beguiling said...

I have a lot of friends/family that have kids with 5+ years between each child. Each of them worried a lot about how that would pan out when the new baby arrived, let alone over the years as they become teenagers, or young adults.

As the mother of a single child, I've been worrying a LOT about how messed up she'll be without siblings. Clearly your son is a good example of how perfectly FINE she'll be.

I hope you'll have the experience my friends & family have had w/ their later in the game 2nd babies... your son will be perfectly FINE.



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