When my sister was born, the pediatrician came to examine her in the hospital. He held her up with one hand, naked and red, as she bellowed in protest.
“Well,” he told my mom. “She’s appropriately pissed.”
Meaning, of course, that her reaction was to be expected. It wasn’t pretty, it hurt to watch, but it was short-lived and, ultimately, developmentally appropriate. Had she not screamed at the top of her tiny lungs, something would have been off.
That’s kind of where we are with Boy Powers. He is, to borrow the words of a pediatrician 20-some years ago, appropriately pissed off about the arrival of his little sister.
He’s not too interested in the baby at all, which is to be expected. But his fuse is short, his demands are many and firm, and in his round eyes you can see a painful search for the familiar.
It’s not pretty, it hurts to watch, but it will be short-lived (I hope) and, ultimately, it’s developmentally appropriate. If he didn’t react this way, something would be off.
Plus, when you’re in the world of two, some things are just way more interesting than a new baby sister…
…like Star Wars Angry Birds
…and graham crackers
…and things that make the end of mom’s finger light up
…and play-doh with dad
I’d love to hear from you in the comments. How did your toddlers adjust to new siblings? Were they too “appropriately pissed”? Do you think some ages make it easier than others?