When I’m having trouble getting Tristan out of bed in the mornings, I know what I need to do. I have his 9 month old sister, Briana, do the waking up. I put her in his his bed, belly on belly. While she starts crawling all over him and gently (or sometimes not so gently) discovers his face with her little hands, Tristan’s arms reach out and fold around his little sister giving her the most loving hug. All this while his eyes are still closed, then I see a beautiful smile on his face and I know the day can begin.
This morning scene lets my mother heart overflow with joy; and it could so easily be different. Briana has been a cry baby until very recently and it’s been very hard on all of us but I feel especially hard on Tristan. Not only did he have to share mummy with his little sister; no, his little sister asked for so much of mummy’s attention that there was so little left for him. Far too many times I snapped at him simply because of the nerve-wrecking crying (or rather screaming) and the sleep deprivation and not because he deserved it. Screaming through countless dinner times, too loud to have a conversation. Plenty of bed time stories cut short because I could not read louder than Briana would cry. He could have so easily blamed it all on his sister. So you can imagine that I’m thrilled to bits when I see how much he loves her. Since she is better he calls her ‘princess’. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?
In these past 3 weeks, Briana has truly blossomed. She is now actively using four sings, so she can tell me about ‘dogs‘, wave ‘hello‘, let me know when she wants to ‘drink‘ and tell me when she wants ‘more‘. She started to crawl, she eats finger food all by herself, she consistently stretches her arms high above her head to the question ‘How tall is Briana?’, she roars like a lion when you ask her ‘What does the lion say’ and she will happily clap her hands to the German children’s song ‘Backe, backe Kuchen’. She takes her milk from the bottle and mostly falls asleep by herself (I used to feed her to sleep on the breast) and since daddy has taken over the night shift, she now only wakes up once or twice for a sip of water and goes back to sleep (we’ve come from me feeding her 4 or 5 times per night to avoid her screaming). We finally have time and energy to look at books, sit on the floor to play with her toys, make music and explore this wonderful world together.
At the weekends, Tristan now gets his good night stories after his sister has gone to sleep and we cuddle up in his bed together. We also made and decorated biscuits which he thoroughly enjoyed :-).
I feel blessed with my family.
See Tristan and Briana playing the bongo drums together:
And last but not least, see a happy little girl make some of her first crawling moves: