Monday, May 28, 2012


the bulletin board

I went and bought myself a bulletin board and some fancy tacks.  It's all part of my new organizational goal for my office space.  Straightaway I put up three lists, all of things to do before we go get Elvie.  They are pretty self-explanatory, I think.  Must Do really does mean MUST.  Oughta Do is for stuff that needs to be done around the house and will most definitely not get done once we've got a medically fragile infant in the house.  Wanna Do is for fun.  I'm happy to report that today we checked off half the items on the Wanna Do list.  I realize there are only two, but they are both things that I really wanted to do.  So today, I took Zinashi to the movies.

I know that when we come home with Elvie, our lives will change drastically, especially initially.  And while I intend to be purposeful about spending time one-on-one with Zinashi, I recognize that it will be much harder than it is now.  In particular, I will have a lot less energy for excursions such as going to the movies.  So we did that today, because we won't be able to do it later, at least not for awhile.

In other ways we also operate on this same principle.  I have been carrying Zinashi a lot lately and helping her with things she can usually do herself.  Some may say that doing this is getting her used to something that I cannot continue, but my aim right now is to do as much for her as possible, to fill her full to overflowing with love and care and meeting her needs right away so that when I cannot do that, she's got plenty to go on.  It is going to be a challenging transition for her regardless; if we can go into this with her securely ensconced in our love, then that is the best possible preparation.  We talk about what it will mean to have a baby in the house.  We talk about learning to wait and taking turns.  And then we show her that she is still our baby and will always be our baby, even when there's another baby in our lives.

As for that other baby, our Elvie, I am just ready to go get her.  I can talk all I want about how we have plenty to do and not enough time and blah-blah-blah, I should just stop saying that.  I want her home.  The end.

(No, really, the end.  I've got an episode of Mad Men to watch before bed.)


  1. Very good action plans momma. Fill that girl up! Here's to things going smoothly and QUICKLY for the entire family

  2. We have biological children, but I assume the prinicples are the same.

    We prepared our son for our daughter's arrival like you are doing, but we also gave him a sense of ownership of the baby. We talked about how we are a family and everyone in the family takes care of everyone else: that's what a family is. We brainstormed things he could do to help with the baby. We brainstormed things the baby could help him with when she got older.

    When the baby was born and she would fuss, instead of just reacting, I would involve him. I would say, "our baby is crying. what do you think she needs?" I would let him sing her a song or give her a toy or binky. Even if she started crying louder I would say "I think she likes it. It's helping." I always called her our baby or his sister. He very early took on a sense of ownership of her and a sense of needing to help take care of her. Also, when I was busy with the baby, we were way more generous about things like letting him watch TV without limits, just to keep him occupied while I was occupied with the baby.

    He always seemed to understand and never expressed frustration when the answer to something was no because of the baby. He was just accepting. She was part of our family and required care. Also, whenever he asked for something that I could tell he really wanted, like to play baseball or read a story or for a cuddle. I ALWAYS put the baby down or handed her off to give him what he asked for. It didn't need to be for more than just a couple of minutes, but it let him know that he was still important and that even though I spent a lot of time caring for the baby and paying attention to her, that when he really needed something he got it and his needs are just as important as the baby's, it's just that she can't do as much for herself as he can.

    I never told him he needed to do something because he was a big boy and wasn't the baby anymore. Even though he could dress himself, if he wanted me to dress him I did.

    As a result he is a very loving and patient big brother of his 18 month old sister. They delight more in each others' company and have a bond very different from the bond they have with us. This is the way it should be and it makes me so happy to see them love each other so much.

    You are a caring and sensitive mother. I know you will find the right balance for your family. It will be difficult, but you will do it. And I hope Zinashi and Elvie will have a relationship that will transcend any expectations you have.


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