They came into the world at the end of July. It was beautiful and unexpected, and the boys met them almost as soon as they were born and thought that they were marvellous. In the months leading up to their birth people would ask us whether the boys knew that they were going to be big brothers and whether they were excited for the babies and I had to confess that I didn’t know, that they were aware of babies in an abstract way – of their babies, plastic-skulled things, of a friend’s baby (they seemed to like him) – but were they prepared for babies in their home? No. I did not think that they were expecting that. I wondered how they would respond, whether they would be jealous, whether they would be pleased.
We wanted it to be easy. We wanted them to love their sisters, or at least not to resent their presence. We wanted it to be an experience that we shared with them, that even if they didn’t remember in the future, they were there for at the time.
The girls were in my arms when the boys were brought in to see them, dressed in the t-shirts that I had chosen for the occasion and clutching Custard Creams (we wanted them to associate their sisters with special things) and they declared them ‘Babies!’ in their sweet, high-pitched little voices. They came close and stared at them with wide eyes, and Balthazar offered a ‘Hi!’ in the most conversational tone, as though he was expecting them to reply.
In the days that have followed, they have accepted them. They are excited to see their little sisters when they wake up in the morning and they like to rock them to sleep in the moses basket in our living room, both together, declaring ‘rock, rock, rock!’ and swinging the thing progressively more enthusiastically until we are forced to intervene. They offer kisses – Lysander likes to kiss their feet – and point out their various facial features and body parts and Balthazar is fond of stroking their small heads with his best gentle hands.
So now I have four children. Two small boys and two tiny girls, and I think that they will love each other very much.
This is my monthly update for The Siblings Project, which I co-host with Lucy from Dear Beautiful, Katie from Mummy Daddy Me, Keri-Anne from Gingerlilly Tea and Carie from Space for the Butterflies. We’d love to have you link up below with your own monthly sibling update and also do check out the new instagram page.
Do you have Siblings pics for this month? Link up below!