As a somewhat new dad to two little girls, the oldest is 3 years old and the youngest is 10 months, I’ve been waiting for those times where I start to see “sisterly love” and trust between the two of them. I’m not looking for the little extra smile that our youngest shows when her older sister comes in the room. That has been there for sometime. I’ve been looking for a larger gesture or reaction. A sign of trust.
(A side note. I think every guy goes through adjustments as children enter his life. Our home used to be quiet. Sure you may hear the radio or TV on, but there was a lot of time where one could get lost in thought or enjoy the silence. Well, those days left almost 3 years ago. And with two, those days have certainly moved further away. That’s not a complaint. It is simply an adjustment.)
So that gesture I’ve been looking for came in a very, well, how do I say it, a “daddylike” way? (At least “daddylike” from my childhood).
It was bedtime. The older sister went to bed pretty well. The 10 month old just wasn’t ready to sleep. As parents we tried nearly everything in our arsenal of tricks to get her to sleep. She just wasn’t liking any of the attempts. At a certain point, you just have to try the self-sooth-cry-herself-to-sleep. My wife put her in the crib.
Well, the girls share a room. A sleeping 3 year old is something to be cherished and witnessed. Hearing her wake up is not what you want. But sometimes you just have to let the baby cry and risk the 3 year old waking up.
The 10 month old went from a whimper, to a whine, to an irritated cry, to ticked off and getting louder with each step.
(Another side-note. Just a few weeks earlier I was mentioning to the 3 year old that an awesome part of being the big sister is if you hear your little sister crying at night you could quietly whisper a comforting, “It’s OK baby, I’m here” and maybe your sister would calm down knowing she was safe in the room with her big sister. Ahhhh, a father can dream right?)
The ticked off cry became more of an angry yell/cry when another voice came from the bedroom yelling, “Quiet baby. Baby.” (then a louder) “BABY! SHUT UP!” That’s right. It was the 3 year old.
But….that yell was followed by….silence. And everyone went to sleep.
Well, everyone except my wife and I sitting in the living room stifling our giggles of amazement.
The big sister helped quiet down the little sister. Not quite the quiet comforting whisper I was hoping to hear. Yet it worked.
Who knew that my first sign of sisterly love/respect would be one yelling at the other. For the record, they really love each other. And they are LOUD. I have been told, but haven’t heard yet, the “Frozen” “Let it Go” duet where the 3 year old sings loud and the 10 month old yells trying to sing too. But sounds more like she is just yelling at the top of her lungs. Like my first side note says, those days of a quiet house have gone away. I couldn’t be happier.