(Prefers Daddy's hand to Mommy's when walking and HAD to hold the water bottle on his own)
People have been asking me lately if I think Max knows/understands that he is going to be a big brother. Honestly I think he is starting to grasp it a bit more, maybe not the whole "big brother" bit but we talk about the baby everyday and point to my belly. I have made a purpose to hold babies in his presence which always concerns him first but then he moves closer and smiles at the baby. He points out babies wherever we go but really how much can you prepare an almost two year old who hardly grasps the concept of, "You may only watch one episode of Kipper."?
Lately there have been little signs though, he is going through a bit of separation anxiety particularly around nap time and especially when visitors come. He nuzzles into the bit of space left I have and hides his face in my shoulder. I admit I love it. It reminds me how little he once was and how he use to spend his entire day resting upon my chest moving only to eat, coo and sleep. I used to be pretty stern about him going down for his naps and now I find myself swooping in to rescue him from his tears, I let him relax against me and I watch as his breathing immediately slows down until he is in a deep sleep. Perhaps I should be prepping him for more independence but the immense love I feel for him in those moments coupled with the pregnancy hormones is like a drug to me. It relaxes me too. It helps me cherish these moments I have with him and as he rests upon me I ponder on how I will really manage two kids, dividing me time and attention and making sure that each of my children feels loved.
Then there is the question of, "How could I love another child as much as this one?" I have thought about it but for some reason it doesn't worry me. From talking and observing friends who have more than one child it clearly is not an issue. Plus I already feel a whole lot of love for this baby within me and I know my love for Max can't diminish. From what I hear, your heart just grows. I have faith in those words.
On the flip side of those few moments of separation anxiety, Max is really starting to gain independence on his own terms. He enjoys exploring, playing by himself and wandering away from me even after instructions to stop. It is fascinating to watch him explore everything around him from bugs to books. He loves walking on his own and is starting to understand when he has to hold my hand (i.e. crossing the street, parking lots, etc.) The world of a toddler is a fascinating one, both for me and him.
So I guess all this is to say that we are getting ready for this new baby. It is still a few months off but I remember how quickly those months pass and before I know it there will be a new bundle in my arms. A new bundle to love and cuddle and take care of. Not with the same one-on-one attention that Max received but this baby gets the bonus of a big brother, and this baby's big brother is awesome.