If I had done some research on How to prepare your toddler for a new baby, I would've discovered some useful tips on preventing Alden from being jealous of Alva. I did everything wrong the moment Alva was born, not knowing these tips:
- Do not leave changes to your son's routine until the baby comes. Do them asap so he doesn't think it's all the new baby's fault and harbour resentment. (Oops. 2 weeks before I delivered, we added Alden's Preschool sessions to accomodate my demanding pregnancy)
- Do borrow a baby for an hour or so close to delivery date (several times if possible) and send its mother/father away so you can sit with it just you, your son and talk about it to him. What it does, how it eats, that it's okay that it cries, that you're going to have one of these come live in your house soon, etc. (Are you kidding me? Borrow a baby from where? Video-EZY?)
- Do not hold the baby the first time that the older child meets him/her so he doesn't feel deposed. (Guilty as charged. I was holding Alva when Alden came to visit me at the hospital)
- Do get a special present for the older baby - it's as if the newborn is bringing a special present for the older baby. (We got him a toy 4 days after he met the baby, so this doesn't count)
More tips can be retrieved from drbenkim.com/jealous-sibling-new-baby.html
Until today, Alden is still sore about having a little sister. He used to be the center of attention but with Alva in the picture, he feels that mummy's affection is now lavished on her instead. I know he is jealous of the time that Alva spends with me because whenever I hold her, he starts throwing tantrums. There is a lot of kicking, screaming, crying and whining and if I don't watch him he will throw stuff at her. It's so hard not to freak out when he does this and the sheer effort of controlling my anger is adding years to my face. When Alden starts making money, he better pay for my botox treatment. He owes me that much.
Last week his jealousy got the better of him and he started misbehaving at home; annoying me by covering Alva's face with diapers and putting his toys all over her body. This morning while I was washing my hair, the same thing happened. I had only spent 5 minutes in the shower when I heard Alva's desperate cry for help. I ran to the living room only to find her covered with T-shirts, dirty sneakers and a pillow. Tears were trailing down her cheeks, kesian kan? And Alden? He was hiding in the bedroom.
Behind all that mischievous exterior, I see a loving little boy, yearning for mommy's undivided attention. So the question is, how do I tell Alden that my preoccupation with her baby sister doesn’t mean he’s not every bit as important to me as he always was? Will he understand? Nah, I guess he won't. I think all I need to do is show him how much he matters to me, which means we are back to square one.
This story doesn't have a happy ending yet, but once it does, I'll keep you posted.