One thing that was hard for me during the adoption wait was watching the buddy dote on babies wherever we went and know that I was unable to give him a sibling close in age. Ever since he was about a year and a half he was obsessed with every baby we saw and wanted to give them kisses and hugs. He also loved playing and "taking care of" his own little baby dolls, so we really believed he would make such a good big brother when the time came, but I worried that he would have to wait years to have that chance.
We brought Sweet P home when the buddy was 2 years and 7 months old and it has been an exhausting, but wonderful age gap. In our adoption wait we never talked about him becoming a big brother or bringing a baby home because we had no idea how long we would wait and we didn't want to confuse him. We also thought we would have at least a few weeks notice once we did get picked and would do a crash course on older brotherhood at that time.
But, in adoption you don't really have any say in how your journey goes and we were able to give him less than 24 hours notice that he was going to be a big brother! When we told him we were going to bring home his baby sister the next day his response was, "I can dress her like a mascot?" (He is currently obsessed with mascots). So, we obviously had no idea how he would react to a new baby in our house.
The day we brought her home, we also had a whole lot of family that came over to celebrate with us. After everyone left the buddy looked at us and said, "When is Sweet P going home?" We told her she already was at home and that she was in our family and would live with us forever! And every since then he has settled into the big brother routine so beautifully.
Sweet P is not an easy baby. When people ask the buddy what his sister is like he says, "She's tiny, she cries and she spit up," which is a pretty good description! But, despite this, he has adapted beautifully. He is so sweet and kind to her even when she's screaming or demanding our attention. As soon as he hears her crying he runs into her room to rock the Rock & Play or to give her a pacifier. When we're in the car and she's screaming for those first 5-10 minutes before she falls asleep he makes rhythmic shushing sounds and says, "It's ok baby; God be wif you" and it melts my heart.
As soon as she wakes up from a nap he yells "She's awake!" and runs in to see her and kiss her. When she's sitting in her baby seat playing, he wants to sit right beside her and "play" along with her, talking to her about her toys and cheering for her when she bats a toy with her hand. Then he asks me to take a picture or if he can hold her, which I often just can't resist.
Of course, he is no perfect child and when he gets mad at us for not giving us what he wants he will often say "I hit Sweet P," which we believe he says because he knows it will make us mad, not because he actually wants to hit her. Oh the joys of an almost 3 year old. Sometimes he does get jealous when I'm holding her and wants to sit on my lap while I'm feeding her, which we attempt and usually goes horribly. And of course, we had quite a few tough nights where her crying woke him up and upset him in the middle of the night, which is something that has thankfully gotten better with time (with the help of an additional sound machine outside his room as well).
Having two kids, especially with no notice, is a difficult transition. Dave and I often ask each other if we will ever be able to sit down in the evening together to watch a movie or even sleep all night in the same bed (more on how we cope with colic in another post), but we are so, so grateful for how amazing the buddy has done in this transition. Right now may be an exhausting and difficult phase for our family, but I look forward to seeing how these two grow up together and one thing I do know: the buddy was definitely made to be a big brother.