Ted’s now been a big brother for over a week and he seems to have accepted that Ben’s not going anywhere.
You may recall I was worried about a lot of things when I was pregnant and one of the things that most concerned me was Ted and how he would react.
Ben had a present for Ted the first time he met him and I think that helped a friendship to form. Buzz Lightyear was waiting patiently in Ben’s crib the first time Ted came to visit us in hospital, so apart from getting upset when he cried Ben was largely ignored that first day.
On the second day he paid a little bit more attention to him but, apart from not being bothered when he cried this time, didn’t seem much different from the previous day. I was really pleased that Ben wasn’t upsetting him but as he was too busy playing with Buzz to notice that I was there I was a bit gutted not to be able to shower him with kisses. Travelling to and from the hospital was fairly exhausting for him though and he did very well.
When we came home he seemed a little bit unsure of what was happening as I was back after three days away and I had a tiny person with me. He mostly clung to BabyDaddy and didn’t want much to do with me. I tried not to take it personally but I had expected him to be all over me so I was a little bit sad. Every mummy loves the feeling of being needed.
We started seeing improvements almost straight away the next morning, with Ted patting and stroking Ben’s head. He went to kiss him a few times and only just stopped short by an inch or two, gradually getting closer until he physically kissed him a week after his birth. He also started fetching him things, like putting his dummy in his mouth when he was crying or giving him a bib that he found on the chair.
There have been moments that have proven more difficult – when I picked him up from nursery and had Ben in a sling so I could use Ted’s buggy rather than the double and he wanted to be carried too – but we’re all getting used to the new size and shape of our family. Ted’s pushing a few boundaries and testing out the limits of what he can get away with (not least because he’s discovered that with new babies come new toys!) but he’s managing better than I could have hoped.
I think we’re all managing better than I expected. I thought adding a new person to the mix was going to throw everything off balance but it feels like he’s always been here. Ted’s accepting him with such love that I’m excited for their future together.
But I’m still terrified of the wrestling matches.