This blog post is just me airing some feelings/concerns I have.
My younger son, Ethan, (soon to be middle-child) is a very unique child. I know, I know. They all are. God created no two alike. Ethan is an intense child, though. Either intensely happy or intensely mad. Tim and I often joke that we never know what Ethan we're going to get in various circumstances. I've taken Ethan to many doctor appointments, which surprises me that my blood pressure has remained low during this pregnancy. LOL. Earlier this week, Bryce had his 4-year check-up at his pediatrician's office. Again, Tim and I joked - never know what Ethan I'm going to get. He was fantastic during the appointment. I haven't had an appointment like that where he's been along in a long time. It went so smooth. I was happily surprised.
Bryce and Ethan could not be more night and day. Even at this age. Bryce was very independent, outgoing and social at a very early age. Ethan is clingy and cuddly. And in some circumstances to such an extreme it's very overwhelming. A week or two ago the kids and I went with Tim to Cleveland for a couple days. While Tim was at work that morning, I took the kids to Gymboree Play & Music for an art class. I had high hopes but also held back some nervousness about it. I kept an open mind to it, though, figuring at least Bryce would enjoy it. And hoped Ethan would, too. The teacher set out play-doh for the kids at the start of the class. Ethan enjoyed just holding it in his hand. He likes walking around carrying various things in his hands. I have heard I was much like that as a child. And especially younger, we (particularly my parents) have noted that my niece, Alyssa, would do this, too. Anyway, when it was time to put away the play-doh, the wrath of my second son was unleashed. I felt so helpless - perhaps more so than I ever have with him. I won't go into a lot of detail about what it was like, but it was basically intense, inconsolable screaming the next 45-50 minutes and him throwing himself on the ground. To the point I worried he was going to knock a tooth out! And other parents were visibly concerned as they got up to make sure he didn't hurt himself.
All this to say.... we seriously don't know what Ethan we're going to get in the coming months - both with the addition of our third child and with preschool. (Ethan will go two mornings a week.) I know I need to let go of my concerns... "Let go, Let God." I need Him to ease this Momma's ache in her heart. The ache of what it's going to be like for him to go from the baby of our family to the middle child. I pray almost daily that he makes this transition smoothly. I still hold back some fears that I wish I could ignore. In the end, I know adding a younger sibling will be good for him. Even if the first days and weeks are full of adjustment. I had similar concerns, although not as justified, when Bryce was 21 months and we added Ethan to his life. And I can now see in hindsight how awesome it is for Bryce to have Ethan, and for Ethan to have Bryce. So I know and trust we will get to that point this time around, too.
Ethan has pleasantly surprised us with some transitions. Where Bryce has transitioned well with certain stages, Ethan has seriously given us a run for our money. When we decided nearly a year ago that we'd transition Bryce to a twin bed and Ethan from the crib to Bryce's toddler bed after Christmas, I did not know what to expect. He has blown us away and far surpassed our expectations. In fact, I think I'd say he transitioned better than Bryce. I only hope the same will be true whenever we decide to tackle potty training. I've heard younger siblings watching older siblings can help with adjustments. In hindsight, I see that was the case with the toddler bed transition. Ethan would even start to climb in the toddler bed with or before Bryce before we transitioned them. And I do think Bryce will be an AWESOME big brother to Baby #3. So here's to hoping (and praying) and letting God.... that Ethan will again see his big brother's example and follow suit once again.