Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Henry has been having a tough time dealing with the impending reality of a little brother.

Way back when we were doing IVF, before he even knew we were thinking about having a baby, he told me he wanted me to get pregnant. When we announced to him that I was indeed going to have a baby, he merely said, "That's what I told you to do."

Since then he's changed his mind.

Now he says, "I don't want a baby. Babies are dumb. I hate babies."

I generally let Henry say what he wants, though I've drawn the line at his saying harsh things to the baby inches from my tummy. When he says he doesn't want a baby brother, I just say, "I know you don't, honey."

I'm hoping that if Henry feels free to express his emotions he'll be able to work through them, and indeed, it does seem to be happening that way. A few times now, out of the blue, he's done some art projects for the baby, to help his little brother learn things like math or sign language. This is after he'd announced many times that he was never going to teach the baby anything, that he was going to stay in his room until the baby was five years old.

I'm fine with this. I really am. Henry has been my only for so long and he's old enough to know that a huge change is coming; he just doesn't know exactly what it means. But it seems that everyone we encounter asks him if he's excited to be a big brother and when he rather crabbily replies that he is not, they try to convince him that it will be a good thing.

Believe me, trying to convince Henry of something he's opposed to never works. In fact, it makes things much, much worse.

I know people mean well, but really, I wish they'd stop. It seems a little disrespectful to tell him that he'll change his mind, that he'll love having a little brother look up to him, when he's saying he won't. And I feel like every time this happens it sets him back, emotionally.

No comments:

Post a Comment