Saturday, February 7, 2009

Growing Up

This May, Joseph will become a big brother when his little brother is born.

Shelby was a mere 14 months old when Joey came home and she had her moments. She would hit him, take his paci, and try to put the newborn baby doll my in-laws gave her on top of her brother whenever she could (it makes sense, put her baby where they put their baby...). But she very quickly grew out of it. Once her brother could sit up and wasn't constantly nursing or sleeping, she decided it was more interesting to play outside with Daddy and jump on her bed.

For his part, once Joseph became mobile, he became a mobile terror. He terrorized dogs and his sister alike. We had anticipated some jealousy on Shelby's part, but we had no idea the younger one could be jealous of the older one. We have had Shelby hug one of us only for Joey to turn it into a competition, "I can give mommy or daddy better or more hugs." We cannot change a diaper on Shelby without Joseph trying to pry our hands away.

And since he has started walking and talking and imitating, Joey has decided he is in charge. He bosses the dogs around constantly and if he sees or hears us admonish Shelby, he wags his fingers and extols his jibberish punishment. I can't tell you how many times I have to remind Joey he is the boss of no one and not the Mommy or Daddy.

But there has been a very sweet side to this maturity. Joey knows, for example, that after the dogs eat, we pick their bowls up off the floor. He rushes to bring us a dog bowl once the dog is done eating. He "helps" unload the dishwasher and when Shelby was crying inconsolably on my lap, he removed my hand from her back where I was rubbing and started rubbing in my place.

I just hope his goodwill lasts when the new baby shows up.

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