Ben the Big Brother

Ben the Big Brother

So now we’re finally home. Me and Anthony. It’s so good to be here. The girls are thrilled to have us home. It took a little while but I’ve begun to find ways to help Ben get settled into the new way things are.

Ben was napping when we came home from the hospital. When he woke he was in a pretty bad mood, not a rare thing. Screaming and yelling. Inconsolable. He didn’t want anyone to talk to him, refused all food and drink and efforts to talk to him. “No! No! No!” The usual post nap mess, intensified by having his routines thrown off. 

When he’d been at it for quite some time, maybe half an hour, I finally found a way to engage him. “Ben, do you want to give Anthony a kiss?” Suddenly the tears stopped, “Aahss,” Ben replied (Yes). And he ran over and beamed at his little brother in my arms. So for the next half hour or so I helped Ben engage with the new baby. I asked him if he wanted to sing a song to Anthony. When I changed Anthony’s diaper, I had Ben get the clean diaper out of the package and throw the dirty one into the trash. I praised him fulsomely for his help, “Thank you, very much Ben! What a good big brother you are! Baby Anthony says thank you too.”

I gave Ben a doll to show to Anthony and let Ben care for the doll, putting it into the baby rocker after I’d taken Anthony out, etc. It was brilliant. Ben really is fascinated by the new baby and wants to know how he’s supposed to interact with this new person. So I gave him a script and led him through various possibilities. He relaxed and feeling like he’d begun to understand how Anthony fits into his world, he was then free to go back to playing with his cars and trucks, pushing the stroller around the house, and doing all the usual Ben things that he does. I’m very satisfied to have begun to crack this egg.

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