***Anecdotes and advice from a Supermom of 12 children
During the short ride home from the hospital, I wondered how my child would react to her new sister. I felt almost regretful as we pulled into the driveway of our modest home. This was the moment I had been dreading: the introduction of big sister to the new baby. I swallowed the knot in my throat as I gathered up the baby, walked up the stairs to the front porch, and saw the sign on the door: Welcome Home Mommy and Baby Sister!
Would she be happy to see the baby?
My daughter had scribbled all over the sign with her favorite purple crayon. Would she be happy to see the baby? I couldn't help but wonder if she'd take our new arrival with grace and good cheer.
We came into the house and much as I had left her, older daughter was sitting in her high chair, eating oatmeal. She was overjoyed to see me and I saw she didn't notice the baby. She bounced up and down in her seat as she called out for me to come and pick her up.
She hadn't yet noticed the baby
As per my baby books, I put my baby down in her crib without any fanfare. To the untrained eye, all my attention was focused on my big girl. I hugged and cuddled her, and I gave her the present I had hidden before the delivery. She hadn't yet noticed the baby.
My new baby began to cry
After some time, my new baby began to cry, so I untangled myself from my big girl and went to retrieve my infant from her crib. When I brought the baby into the room, big daughter spotted her, finally, and gave me a look that conveyed deep betrayal. She was horrified as the reality of her situation dawned on her.
Despite all my efforts, she was unprepared. I doubt there was anything I could have done that would have changed this outcome. I knew that sibling rivalry had arrived along with the new baby and both were here to stay. But I was in it for the long haul and I had a feeling we'd all do just fine.