When I gave birth to Harlow, the moment I was looking forward to most, was introducing her to our first daughter. I couldn’t wait to show Mazzy that the “baby” who lived in my belly button for nine months was a living breathing little girl we got to take home.
The moment was so special that I relinquished my job as family photographer and trusted everyone else in the room to capture it for me. I even made sure someone videotaped, but thanks to an excellent view of my underwear throughout the entire thing, I cannot share it with you.
What’s so bad about a hospital gown upshot, you wonder? Perhaps you don’t remember that after giving birth, you are given boy shorts made of gauze and told to stuff them with puppy pads.
But I digress…
Mazzy walked in wide-eyed with both hands pressed against her cheeks like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. Then she ran excitedly over to my bedside, stopping short just before she reached the baby.
“Who is that?” everyone asked.
“IT’S MOMMY!” she shouted.
“No, who’s THAT?” we asked again and pointed to the baby.
“It’s Harlow,” she said a little unsure of herself.
“Who’s Harlow?” I prompted her.
“My big sister.”
“No, YOU’RE the big sister!” we all laughed. “Do you want to give her a kiss?”
Mazzy obliged, the room let out a collective “Awwwww…” and my heart swelled ten times the size of Texas.
We asked Mazzy if she wanted to hold Harlow and then sat them together in a chair, Grammy spotting Harlow the whole time, just in case.
There is seriously nothing better than watching your normally wild soon-to-be three-year-old try to be as gentle as possible with your newborn. Mazzy cradled Harlow on her lap as she pet her shoulder protectively and looked at her with both love and awe.
THIS, I thought, is what parenting is all about.
Then Mazzy told me she brought the baby a lollipop. I told her that Harlow was too little to eat a lollipop and she said, “But I’m not too little to eat a lollipop!” And that’s how Mazzy snookered us into letting her eat candy at the hospital. The girl is GOOD.
Now. Most people share the one perfect photo that captures the pure joy a child feels when meeting their baby sibling for the first time.
I will not be that selective.
After going through the numerous pictures taken by Mike, Grammy, my sister, etc. it is clear that Mazzy didn’t just go through one emotion that day. She went through many.
May I present, “The Eight Stages of Sibling Acceptance”…
STAGE ONE: EXCITEMENT
STAGE TWO: TREPIDATION
STAGE THREE: THE SMELL TEST
STAGE FOUR: HAPPINESS
STAGE FIVE: UNCERTAINTY
STAGE SIX: DIABOLICAL PLANNING
STAGE SEVEN: FUCK THE BABY! I’VE GOT A LOLLIPOP!!!
And finally, STAGE EIGHT…
I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving. I know what I’m thankful for this year…
Motrin, maternity jeans (aka Thanksgiving Pants) and COFFEE. Oh man, how I missed coffee.
What? You thought I was going to say something else?