They say nothing makes your first baby seem old than when you see them next to your new baby.
I remember wondering how true those words would be when I was pregnant with Juliet. I looked at my baby boy thinking nothing could change how I saw him; he was still so little — only three — why would that change anything even after I had another baby? Then that fateful moment came as I was laying in my hospital bed, cradling the little newborn I had just given birth to a few short hours previous, and seeing a bounding, exuberant little boy come charging into my room to greet me and his new little sister. How loud he seemed, how big he was, how capable he could be as he told me about his morning with his grandma while he climbed up the hospital bed to peer at his new sister. Next to her he seemed so…big, with his words and his movements as he expressed interest and curiosity over the small little bundle in my arms who could barely look at him without crossed eyes.
When I got home with my new baby and my big boy (as he insisted he be called since he wasnt a baby, Juliet was), the gap widened more and more as Juliet was so dependent on me while Drake seemed so much more independent than he ever had been in my eyes.
Now once again I find myself in this place looking at my baby girl this time wondering how in the world could that ever change. Juliet is a year younger than Drake was when she was born, and yet at this age I remember weaning Drake off both his bottle and pacifier. Mr. Chocolate has mentioned this many times recently, partially because we will probably end up using pacifiers and maybe some bottles with the baby, and he is worried about confusion if both Juliet and the baby have them, as well as possibly jealousy and snatching on Juliet’s end if she thinks the baby has her stuff. While I can understand his concerns, part of me still sees Juliet as my baby. She loves her morning bottles, to hold on to her pacifiers in both her hand and mouth afterwards, and our bedtime revolves around making sure she has a least 3 “pa pas” with her before she will settle down to bed.
In my mind I know Drake was younger than Juliet is now when he did away with both of these ties to babyhood, but for some reason when I look at Juliet all I can think about is that little newborn I was snuggling when her big brother walked through my hospital door. I can’t see, once again, how different my baby girl will look once I am holding another newborn in my arms. Truthfully part of me doesn’t want to either. For the last 2 years Juliet has been the baby, the snuggly little one who loves bottles and pacifiers and needs protection from the world; the one who runs into my arms at all times when she is scared, tired, overwhelmed, or just plain happy; the one who loves cuddling in my arms after story time, resting her head on my chest as we rock and read together as he have done since she was born.
I realize I am not quite ready to the idea that she is no longer my baby even if I have another baby on the way, in the same way I’m not ready to take away those last few signs of babyhood in her pacifier and bottle. I know in time my vision will change, just as it did with Drake who has always been the big brother since Juliet’s arrival. But for now I just want to see my little girl as I did the day she was born. Forever my baby, if only for a short while more.