I always knew that I wanted to have a small age gap between my children, and it wasn’t long after Mabel was born in 2012 that I thought I’d better get on and give her a brother or sister before she got too used to the luxury of being an only child. When I found out that my second baby was going to be another girl I was overjoyed. I would have been pleased either way of course but a sister is such a special thing (I should know, I’ve got three!) and I was so happy that I could give her that partner in crime, an instant best friend for life, I hoped. Greta was born at the end of 2013 when Mabel was 20 months old and within weeks it was as if she’d always been here. The two little girls grew together and became as close as I’d dreamed. When Greta was a year old I began agonising over the next addition to our family. Life had got a bit easier again, should we add another little one into the mix? I felt like if we were going to do it we had to do it soon. The girls were so close, in age and in everything else, I was worried that a third sibling would be left out if I left it too long. Of course, I was never really going to stop at 2, and although it was a bit of a surprise at how quickly the news came, we soon found out we were expecting again, and this time it was a baby boy! Ernest arrived in December 2015 and his 2 big sisters were besotted with him straight away.
So here we are in February 2016, with three little siblings, 2 months into their adventure as a trio.
Mabel and Greta have a typical big/little sister relationship. Greta copies everything Mabel does, she is like a little parrot for the phrases that Mabel comes out with. It is like having an echo in the room sometimes. She follows her around like a little puppy half the time and I will often hear her saying ‘OK Mabel’ as her big sister gives her another instruction. She loves to be included in Mabel’s games and for the most part is a willing participant. But of course she is a toddler. So some days she likes to start fights for no reason, just because. And her obsession with her big sister is just as strong on those days. Anything that Mabel has, she wants. Anything that Mabel says, she argues with. Mabel could say ‘I’m a little green alien’ and Greta would scream ‘NO MY A LITTLE GREEN ALIEN!!!’ But that’s the fun of toddlers…. Mabel sometimes gets upset with her if she’s being really unreasonable but most of the time she tries to negotiate with her or she just giggles and says ‘she’s a silly little Gigi Mummy’. I think she understands that Greta is younger and she’s not being unpleasant on purpose. Not that Mabel doesn’t have her moments of course. Her new thing is to declare that she needs some alone time, when she wants to play with something without Greta interfering. A good idea in principal but Greta just can’t stand the idea of Mabel doing something without her. I have to do my best to distract her, any way I can, usually by doing something extra fun like putting loud music on to dance around the house like loons to, at which point Mabel decides that actually alone time is over rated and she wants to join in with what we’re doing.
Both girls are head over heels in love with their little brother. Mabel likes to be a mini Mummy to him so she’s always talking to him ‘do you want your Mabel to look after you Ern? Is that what you want?’ Luckily we’ve got passed the stage when we first brought him home when she picked him up out of his Moses basket and tried to walk off with him! She knows she needs an adult to help her now but she still likes to have him sit on her lap or lay on her tummy. Greta’s cuddles can be a bit over enthusiastic at times. More than once I’ve had to prise her hands away from round his neck, but I’m sure she’s doing it in a loving way. It’s very sweet when she gives him a kiss and says ‘love you little dude’. The only thing that I do wish they would stop sharing with him is their germs. For a 2 month old, Ernie has had a lot of colds bless him. But he loves his sisters and he’s smiling at them lots which they love to see. I can’t wait to see how he fits into their dynamic as he grows.
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