Friday, December 7, 2012

Big Brother Ben(nett)

Overall, Bennett has handled the transition from only child to oldest child fairly well. Overall.

There were some things that I wasn't prepared for during this hospital stay...We had told Bennett that when Silas was born he would stay at Grandma & Papa's house and that he would come to the hospital to see us. We had even shown him video from when he was born. What we didn't realize was that he spent the night at Grandma & Papa's the night before Silas was born and then came up to the hospital, so I think he thought it was all over. He didn't understand why we weren't coming home right then. When he left the hospital the first night, he cried and screamed, "I want my mommy back!" all the way out of our room, through the whole hospital and all the way to Matt's parent's house. It. was. awful.

We Silas had given Bennett a remote control fire truck and a book about being a big brother at the hospital, but when Bennett got back to Matt's parent's house, he wanted nothing to do with the book or any talk about being a big brother. He did get over that within a few days for the most part.

The day after Silas was born, we had pictures taken at the hospital, so we wanted Bennett to be there. Matt's mom dropped him off and we decided that we wouldn't push him to take pictures with Silas if he didn't want to. We only got one picture of them together and Silas is screaming in it, but that's okay.

Bennett loved Silas from the start! He has never acted out against Silas. The first few weeks were a little rocky with us, but he's said Silas is his best friend since he was a few days old. We had a lot of trouble with him flat out ignoring us, throwing giant fits (that we had never seen like that before) and lots of disobeying. We tried to be understanding. I mean, the poor boy's whole world just changed, but eventually enough was enough and strict, but loving parenting had to happen. It wasn't too long before our sweet boy was back.

Some things are obviously different. We don't get to spend much one-on-one time together. We try, but it's hard. He's had to become more independent. Bedtime was tough for quite a while. I normally lay down with him until he falls asleep and I can't do that when Matt's at work. It took a little more than a month, but he can finally go to sleep on his own now.

The biggest change is probably that he now prefers to be called "Ben". When we named him, we said that "Ben" could be a nickname. I was thinking like...once he went to school or something. Nope. He went to church the Sunday after Silas was born and someone (who shall remain nameless...just kidding, I'm not mad...but you know who you are...) called him "Ben". He came home and said, "Mom, do you know what my name is?" Yep, it's Bennett. "No. I'm Ben." Heart. Broken. I tried just calling him Bennett anyway, but still, two months later, he insists that it's "Just Ben" several times a day. I've decided that I can call him Ben sometimes, but generally I still call him Bennett.

He's really good at helping out when I need things. He will get me diapers and bring me a pacifier or help put one in Silas' mouth if I can't get to him right away. One time, I was in the kitchen and Silas was crying in the living room. I heard Bennett telling him to be quiet and then Silas' crying was muffled. I rushed in to find Bennett's hand over Silas' mouth and nose! I told him why he couldn't do that and he said, "I just wanted him to stop crying." Another time, he put a blanket over Silas' face when he was crying. I finally decided that I just needed to be completely honest with him and tell him that if Silas has a blanket (or anything else) over his face, he could die. I was not ready for Bennett's response. He started weeping. He apologized over and over for the rest of the day! I guess the reality was a little harsh for my poor 2-yr-old, but you know what? He hasn't put anything over his mouth or nose since!

He really does love Silas so much. Several times a day, he will lay by him, kiss him and tell him he loves him or tell me that they are best friends. He's so sweet. He'll tell me that someday he's going to teach him how to crawl and walk and talk. He really is a great big brother!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Good to know as we're about to embark on the same journey.