Poor Big has been poorly this week. I wish I could say that it’s been lovely bonding time for us but I’d be fibbing. She hasn’t wanted me near her but got angry when I’ve tried to do other things.
For someone who needs control as much as Big, a sickness bug has been very scary. Imagine not knowing when you’re going to be sick again. Imagine not being in control of your body. Imagine having to reveal a slight ‘weakness’ to somebody. And all that comes with it, not going to nursery, wearing pyjamas in the day, being in bed in the day, etc. It’s no wonder we’ve had a tricky week.
But she’s been so angry. And when she’s angry she goes for the emotional hard hitters. All week she’s told me that I’m not her mum. And I’ve answered as therapeutically as I can, “You’re right, I’m not the mummy you were born too, but I’m going to be your mummy now forever’ and she’s pushed and pushed against me but then she said, “You’re no-one’s mummy.”
I don’t know if she was just trying out something or because she’s recently got a baby cousin and she thinks you have to have a baby to be a mummy or something else but gosh it hurt.
This was all okay, I was dealing with it as best I could but then she said it in front of Little and Little got so upset. She looked at Big and said, “Yes she is, she’s MY mummy,” then looked at me and said, “Aren’t you?” and then she burst into tears. I basically had to repeat, “Yes, I’m your mummy” for an hour while she cried in my arms.
And this is where I struggle, this is when I think I know a little bit about how to deal with things, I understand what I need to say when but the books don’t tell you what to say to a younger sibling when the oldest one is saying I’m not their mummy. When I was comforting Little I felt like I was isolating Big but there’s only one of me and Little needed the reassurance and I knew Big wasn’t ready for repair. I tried later but I’m not sure I helped her.
I hope I reassured Little and allowed Big to express the feelings she needed to express but who knows. I never know whether I’m saying or doing the right thing. Little calmed down and Big didn’t say it again in front of her but who knows. I’m guessing I’ll be doing this for many years and I’ll still be wondering if I’m doing it right.
The best bits
Little greeted us this morning with “Happy Alan’s Day! I love you!” and it was lovely. She was so happy to tell us. She made a card at playgroup and kept giving it to me saying ‘this says I love you’ and trying to sound out her name which was also very lovely.
Big sat with her dad yesterday to watch the rugby and sat quite still. Usually she needs to move from people after a while but she sat for most of the game. I’m really glad that she was able to get comfort from one of us when she wasn’t feeling well.