brotherly love and rotting flesh

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.) 

 What else? 

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.  

What else?  

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. 

What else?

Here is a short video of their introduction...about 12 hours after she was born.  You can see where his priorities are.  

Love them.


sdhorton said...

A very understandable reaction from Nate about Nora but one that terrifies me a bit. It has to sink in that this baby is here to stay and that's not always fun for the one who had undivided attention and now doesn't. lord help me! You are preparing for my not so distant future.

Unknown said...

We don't deal well with The Whine around here, either. How did evolution lead to whining? Is it seriously adaptive? Seems doubtful... (I, too, am a bit terrified of the sibling rivalry/adjustment period... It must be so hard on the "big" kids...)

Aubrey said...

I'm with Nate on the dried up umbilical cord. Those things are freaky. Love the progression of photos.

I think Nick and I were more concerned about Ella than THE BABY. It was a rough month, but I put a mark in the win column since Kate was never thrown down the stairs and/or smothered with a pillow. (Yes, I've actually heard real stories of older siblings who attempted such hate crimes.)

melissa said...

sweet little nater boots - i bet it's tough knowing there are now TWO sheriffs in town.

the good news is, he is a really sweet kid. my bet is, once she starts becoming more animated he's going to want to teach her everything. and THAT will be so fun to watch :)

love you kat! xo

Jax said...

hahah! That video is fantastic! It's so good that you guys are so understanding of Nate's reactions, etc. I mean, I'm sure it's obvious, but I guarantee you there are some parents out there that are just clueless and would be mad at Nate. I love the she's coming home "WITH US" thing.. haha.. Adorable.

Jax said...

and I laughed out loud at the umbilical cord thing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Love! Cute blog :) Nate is adorable...loved the video. xo alove <3