The day little Katie was born, Brian spent time talking to the kids about how our family had changed.
“William, you now have a little sister,” he explained to them. “And Eleanor has a little brother and a little sister.”
Eleanor, who has always been intrigued by the technicalities of family relationships, took it one stop further.
“Yeah, William. Now you are a middle child, like me, instead of the youngest,” she said excitedly. “Baby Katie has REPLACED YOU!”
Brian and I found this statement hilarious. But William has been taking his status change a little hard. He doesn’t take it out on his baby sister — he is as fond of her as the rest of the kids (although he did admit briefly that he “liked Baby Katie when she was in Mommy’s tummy”). But his frustration at the changes in his life have come out in other ways. He’s more likely to throw a temper tantrum, especially when it comes to leaving the house for church or preschool. His usually hearty appetite has diminished, and he hasn’t been sleeping as well (although this is in large part to sharing a room with Jeffrey).
The rest of our children were too little to really register a change in lifestyle when their new sibling came along. Jeffrey and Eleanor were just 2 1/2 or 2, and didn’t have the long-term memory to remember life before the new baby. William’s the first to notice and be upset that he’s not getting as much one-on-one Mom Time as he used to.
We know it’s a phase, and he’ll grow out of it eventually. But in the meantime, it’s hard not to feel for the little guy.