So one of the most asked questions we've fielded since NK has been on the scene is: "How is Nate liking being a big brother?" (Or 'how is he adjusting' or 'how is he dealing with her' or some variation of that question.)
My answer Weeks 1 and 2? He's been great. He wants to love and kiss her (which is better than wanting to claw her face off or hit her, RIGHT?). We've barely even noticed the adjustment! (Ha! Naive much?)
Week 3 got a little (lot) dicey. Delayed reaction? Reality sinking in? Either way, this week has definitely been the toughest. Lots of tears. Over LOTS of things. Ahem, MY APPLE SLICES ARE ON A PLATE AND NOT IN A BOWL followed by a massive crying fit. The Horror.
There has been much:
Me: "Nate, would you like some peanut butter crackers?"
Him (full on whine/angry voice): "NO. I DON'T LIKE PEANUT BUTTER CRACKERS."
Five minutes pass.
Him: "Mommy, can I have some peanut butter crackers?"
Pretty much it's a little funny, a little annoying (neither Karl nor I deal well with The Whine), and a lot heartbreaking. You can just SEE him trying to process his emotions and/or control the situation and not knowing exactly how. He's been particularly jealous of Karl holding the baby. Karl has been doing bed time and bath time (and many other things with him) for awhile now. I was so miserable and huge at the end of my pregnancy with Nora Kate that I just couldn't play with Nate or even hold him like I normally would. Plus, he's always been kind of a daddy's boy. (It's okay to say that, right? Even if his preference for Karl is occasionally hurtful to me? Cue the: "No I want DADDY to do it!" chorus that's been said way too often in the past month. I get it, kid. You see me a lot.)
PLUS THE SLEEPING. JESUS. Who is sleeping better? The newborn or the toddler? I would seriously go with Nora Kate. Bedtime has been an absolute nightmare with Nate. Additionally, he went through a five-day stretch of waking BEFORE SIX. Not right with Jesus, child. (Because even though NK is sleeping well she still gets up to eat every 2-3 hours.) I think he gets in a light sleep stage in the early morning hours and if he hears the baby crying, he is UP. (And NEVER has he been one to return to sleep or snuggle in once his eyes pop open.) Thankfully, I think we are almost through it and the past few nights have been exceptionally better (resulting in much better days as well; lack of sleep is no joke). Neither Karl nor I are upset about it (well at least not in the rational daytime hours); we're just trying to wade our way through.
Here are some other tidbits I want to remember (in no particular order):
Nate was terrified of her umbilical cord (What's scary about ROTTING FLESH I ask you?!). Here's the snapshots of the first time he held her (which lasted approximately 20 seconds):
Photo #1: "Awwww... she's so cute! I'm a big brother!"
Photo #2: "Wait. Wait. WHAT THE F IS THAT THING?"
Photo #3: "GROSS. GROSS. GROSS. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" (Commence FREAK OUT and attempt to throw baby on the floor - anything to get that thing AWAY.)
Nora Kate has been going through some serious hair shedding the past few days, leaving her with a decidedly old man like receeding hairline (photos to come?). One day I was bouncing her and talking to her (i admit it; possibly in baby talk voice) about her old man ugliness and her baby acne. Nate stopped me and told me "She's very pretty mommy and she's doing VERY well." HA. So right little man. I stand corrected.
He's somewhat possessive of her when introducing her to others. As in: "She's my baby. She comes home WITH US." (50% Possessive? 50% NOTE TO SELF?) I seriously can't wait to see the dynamic between them as they grow.
Here is a short video of their introduction...about 12 hours after she was born. You can see where his priorities are.