Tater Tot’s Reaction to the Big News

Several people have left comments or emailed asking how Tater Tot is handling things, and let me start off by thanking you for asking about him.  

We decided that we would tell him he was going to be a big brother by reading him a book called I’m a Big Brother.  Tater Daddy and I snuggled up with him on his bed, I held the book, and his Daddy read the story.  We oohed and ahhed at the baby and we made a big fuss over how special the little boy was because he was a big brother.  Tater Tot played right along with us, and we were prematurely pleased with ourselves.  We should have seen the red flag waving right in front of us.

Tater Daddy said, “You are going to have a baby brother.  Won’t it be fun to be the big brother?”

A look of complete and utter shock came over Tater Tot’s face.  In a tone of disbelief, he said, “Noooooo,” at which point my husband’s eyes became as big as golf balls and he mouthed, “What now?” to me.

Patting his chest, Tater Tot continued, “I’m still widdle.  I not a big bwudder.  No, no, no, Daddy.  See?  I’m widdle.”  He wasn’t mad or upset.  It was more like he thought we were mistaken and he was trying to help us understand where we’d gotten off track.

We tabled the issue and tried again a couple of weeks later with another book, Big Brother, Little Brother.  He loved it, and it seemed to seal the deal.  He was more open to talking about having a little brother and said that he wanted one.  Actually, he wanted a sister.  We had to explain that he was getting a brother, a point that was non-negotiable.  We asked him what he thought about the name we’d chosen, and he said, “No, no no.  Thomas.”

“Thomas?  Why do you want to call him Thomas?” we asked.

“I want to call him Thomas the twain.”

Well, duh.

All of that stuff took place a couple of months ago, and the idea of a new baby has been just that — an idea.  And even though Small Fry is here, Tater Tot hasn’t been able to see him because he’s been in the NICU since he was born.  It’s still not real for him.  It’ll be real enough once Small Fry comes home!

Tater Tot has had it pretty good since he came into the world almost three years ago.  We waited and prayed for him for so long, and when he finally arrived, our families did everything but lay out the red carpet.  On my side of the family, he’s been the only grandson.  He’s been my brother’s only nephew, and Jim has worked like the devil to spoil him like only an uncle can.  And I’ve been home with him since he was born, so he’s never had to share my attention.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t stopped dead in my tracks these last couple of months and thought, “What in the world are we about to do to this precious child?”  Fortunately, my friends who have more than one child have told me that it’s normal to feel that way when the second one is on the way.  One of my friends even put it this way:  “Oh, heck yeah.  Everybody hits that panic stage when you realize there is actually going to be another child in your house in about 12 seconds and you think, ‘Huh.  I’m not sure I really thought this all the way through.  I think I want a do-over.'”

My friend, Diane, has two precious little girls who are almost exactly four years apart.  She said at one point she didn’t know whether to feel sorrier for her older daughter, who had never had to share the throne, or her younger daughter, who would never know what it was like to have it all to herself.  But then she said that she’d done all that worrying for nothing because the girls are so happy to have each other that it all works out.  She assured me that we’re not doing Tater Tot any harm by giving him a baby brother.  (What would I do without my friend, Diane, to calm and reassure me?)

Right now, Tater Tot knows that his baby brother is here, but he’s in the hospital.  That’s enough for him.  He thanks God for him when he says his little prayers at night.

And so far, he hasn’t called him Thomas.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim H.
    May 13, 2009 @ 07:36:16

    Isn’t that just like us as humans to sit there and wonder about the consequences after it is too late? Can you imagine? I’m sure that every woman has that thought on some level though when the idea of a new baby or a second baby becomes REAL.

    I’m glad that Tater Tot came around though – I can’t wait to see pictures of him with Small Fry. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Mrs Lemon
    May 13, 2009 @ 08:29:11

    I had that thought yesterday, about the time when Z was loving on his little cousin – “what are we about to get into?” 🙂

    Reply

  3. pcb
    May 13, 2009 @ 09:22:26

    …and here’s the thing…you are going to be doing a lot of talking to that new baby once he’s home…and there’s no harm focusing the talk on how lucky he is to have such a wonderful brother, etc. I found I could *ahem* maneuver my older one into most any state of mind by talking to his baby sister about it!

    Reply

  4. Marty
    May 13, 2009 @ 16:51:54

    My grandson’s response when he heard there would be a new baby? “Ewww! Babies are disskusting. NO babies!” And it went downhill from there. When baby brother came home, big brother ignored him. But time wore him down. He acknowledged his existence. Then he held him and watched him smile. Made a meltingly sweet picture. Right after that, he said, “Now get him OFF me.” Can’t expect too much too quickly, right? But he’s 2 1/2 months in and doing fine.

    Reply

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