Her days as an only child are numbered

I sat down with an empty fabric bin and asked if she’d like to put some of her toys in the box for the new baby.

“Yea!” She told me enthusiastically. Not a bit of hesitation.

I helped her pull down one of her own toy baskets and dug through, offering suggestions.

“How about this little Elmo?”


“And Earnie?”

She looked at him in my hand for a moment before grabbing him and placing him in the baby’s bin.

She took it from there, adding an etcha sketch, some of her baby dolls, and her camera “So he can take pictures of me,” she told me with a grin. I didn’t have the heart to tell her those toys weren’t quite age appropriate, but the baby won’t know any different. And it’s the thought that counts.

My sweet, caring, and empathetic child loaded her toys then carried it to the baby’s room.

“Thank you baby,” I told her. Using a nickname I may soon need to rethink. “That was really nice of you to share your toys.”

“Thanks mommy,” she smiled back at me. So grown. I took her hand and we walked back to her room to play with a new toy I had gotten just for her.

These are the last few weeks of just she and I. The final moments of her only-childness. She seems ready, excited, and continues to ask me “when is he’s coming out?”, but I can sense her feelings of coming change, and I’m hanging on to the present with her.

My once seemingly independent child now looks back at me to make sure I’m still in the room when she’s at gymnastics. She asks for extra hugs when I drop her off at school, some times she even cries when I leave. She wants me to carry her places, and sit on my lap (what’s left of it) while she watches TV, plays with a toy, eats, or anything! I can’t deny her that though, because I know soon, she’ll be sharing my lap with her sibling.

Paige Wilks Photography

My daughter has been the center of my world the last three years. Even before she was born, I couldn’t wait to get pregnant, I was THRILLED  when I found out she was a girl, and she has literally changed my life.

First of all, how does a second child compete with that? I mean, I’m sure it’s something I just can’t imagine–just like I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to love a child of my own in the first place–but sharing that love with two kids seems, well… Kind of impossible right now.

People tell me your heart grows, and I picture the Grinch, when his heart grows three times in size. Of course it’s not that literal, but I’d bet it must feel something like that, when you watch as your first child meets your second.

Miss J has gone through a series of changes in preperation for the new baby: New bed, new dresser, seeing new baby swings and seats arive, watching me unpack and prepare clothes clearly too small for her, and she’s taking it all very well. She knows she’s going to be a big sister “like Dora!” she tells me. And I think she’s ready. At least as ready as she’s going to be.

But since her days as an only child are numbered, I’m soaking up every last moment. Holding her more than I’d normally hang on, letting her sit on me longer than is really comfortable, and hugging and kissing her… Well, as much as usual. Because soon, the hundreds of kisses she gets a day will be divided by two.

Sharing her toys doesn’t seem to be a problem, but I hope she will be ok sharing her mom.

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  1. I remember preparing for my second child. I think it was harder for me than my daughter. I would cry some nights thinking about how our time wouldn’t be just us anymore. The last few months of my pregnancy we had tea parties every day. She helped me with all the stuff for the baby that she could. We cuddled on the couch an watched a movie every afternoon and she napped with me at least once a week.
    Then my second came. And oh my. That love you had for your first you have for your second. And when they meet each other it is really a magical moment. Your heart really does feel like the grinch’s. Its just amazing. And it’s amazing how that other baby fits in like this is how it always was. My daughter was 2.5 when I had my second and sounds alot like yours.
    Now I’m getting ready to have my third at the beginning of April. I’m not worried about loving the baby the same or how my oldest is going to do or how I’ll fit the baby into the mix.
    I’m worried about how my younger one is going to take it because she’s the “baby” and only 21 months old so there isn’t the same understanding there. She seems to have no clue a baby is coming.
    But I know it’ll all be ok. And I’m totally looking forward to that heart swelling moment when all 3 of my babies are together.

  2. What a sweet post! There really are no words to describe your oldest child meeting their new sibling…With my 3rd (who is nearly 10 months) When the older 2 came in the room….my son being 22 months at the time, it was so magical! Big sis knew what to expect and was so thrilled to finally meet her baby sister but Gavin who really didn’t have a clue ran in with a special toy, gave it right to his new baby sister, climbed up on the bed with me and held her tiny little hand and wouldn’t let go. The biggest smile I’ve ever seen never left his face. It was really better than I could have imagined. They loved her. They wanted her. They couldn’t wait to bring her home and share her with everyone. Nearly 10 months later my oldest, now 5, still tells me she is so happy that I had baby Kenlie, and they still fight over who gets to hold her even though the squirmy girl doesn’t really want to be held 🙂 It’s a whole new world when you add a sibling. You will have enough of everything to go around! Soak up those last moments with your only girl…I can hardly remember when it was just me and my oldest.

  3. Don’t worry a bit. She will turn into mommy’s helper and the moment you see that new baby, you will love him/her as much as you do you daughter. Hubby and I had seven and your mama heart has room for many, many blessings! Now maybe when she is 13 and her sibling is in her room you will have arguments to deal with but she is at a great age and will end up being your biggest helper.

  4. I’m curious how the transition to 2 will go for you 🙂 It was tough for me, 15 months ago. The first 3 months were just so hard. It was all beautiful and chaotic at the same time. My then 3 year old because this unrecognizable creature. I sort of have her back now, but sometimes I feel so bad she can’t even play in peace, her little brother destroys everything! 🙂

  5. Oh great Jen, you made me cry! LOL. Only because I too am in your shoes, except my change is coming in about 3 days! I’ve noticed that Colston does want me to hold him more often than his dad, and I do let him sit on my lap until I can’t help it. We call it “cuddle with baby”. I also find my self soaking him in more, and observing his actions so that I don’t forget his last days as my only child. Sounds like Miss J is adjusting nicely. You guys will do great :).

  6. This really touched me heart! Don’t worry about her… she’ll be a great older sister and the love you’ll have for #2 will be different…and you’ll have more than enough love to go around! You’re an amazing mom!

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