One of the biggest questions we had before TJ was born was not about him at all, but rather how Nathan would react to having a new baby around, a needy human who would certainly steal away the attention he had basked in for almost four years. We had talked to Nathan repeatedly about how he was going to be a big brother and how there was going to be a baby here soon, but that discussion was so meta, so above his Thomas the Train addled-brain, it was as if we were giving him tips on taking the SATs like, remember to fill in your name! That’s like 200 points! While in the hospital, I talked to him on the phone and told him I had a baby. His response, “Ohhhh.” But he’s responded the same way with other discussions like when I try to talk to him about the significant differences between “Sleepless in Seattle” Meg Ryan vs. “In the Cut” Meg Ryan: fifth-grade teacher vs. fifth-year meth user. There is a difference, friends! Pay attention!
When we got home from the hospital, Nathan ran down the stairs, moved AROUND the car seat carrying his new brother and gave me a hug. I tried to film his reaction to a BABY but it looks like some sad America’s Funniest Home video that doesn’t capture humor as it does pain via getting hit in the nuts. Are those videos funny? Am I really out of it? What sick Hostel *and* Hostel 2-loving weirdos laugh at a man’s crotch meeting the business end of a hammer? Wait, I think I did. So that totally negates this line of questioning. Moving on!
At first, Nathan didn’t even acknowledge the baby. It took a while before he would even look at TJ. Sometimes his jealousy would flare and he’d say, “Mom! Come sit on my lap!” Which is not actually sitting on his lap, it’s sitting on the floor next to him while he watches his Thomas the Train DVD so I’m at the perfect position for him to grab my head and say, “LOOK! LOOK! MOMMY! SKARLOEY GOING TOO FAST!”
Obviously I can’t give into him in this way anymore and I probably shouldn’t have in the first place, but I’M SO WEAK and this is the same child who makes me WIPE HIS TONGUE when he eats something spicy, so I give into him in other ways, like letting him watch Mr. Bean ON DEMAND. When he wakes up, we’ll get ready and I’ll set up Mr. Bean in the background just so I don’t have to hear, “I want to watch MISTAHHH BEEEEEN!” He loves this British actor so much and he’ll mimic the physical stunts or repeat lines from the show especially this scene, from which he has learned to say in a fake french accent, “YOU MUST LOOK AT ZEE BODEEE!”
As for this little bean, everything is an experiment. Most of my hard and fast pre-baby rules crumbled once TJ arrived. I wanted to place him in the crib and not co-sleep like we did with Nathan and again suffer consequences like waking up with a toddler’s foot in my face. But TJ is a light sleeper who seems to nap most soundly when he’s on my chest so I let him do it. Then Nathan comes along and says, “Mom! Moooove!
And I give in.