Parenting 101: And Three Becomes Four

On June 9 our two-year-old son Tyler gained a baby brother when Ryan came into the world at 12:17pm. The nine months leading up to Ryan’s birth were fraught with anxiety about how Tyler would adjust to being a big brother. Tyler immediately put my worry to rest when he crawled up onto my hospital bed, kissed Ryan, and said, “Awwww” with a tilted head. I choked up! At 15 weeks into our big brother experiment, Tyler is doing fantastic.

Tyler has become quite the little helper over the past four months. If he could breastfeed Ryan himself, he probably would! Tyler is always ready to hand over a burp rag or shake a toy at Ryan, and diaper changes have become a tag-team event.

“I get Balmex,” exclaims Tyler as he runs into Ryan’s room. He also loves to throw the diapers into the Diaper Genie—along with the occasional toy or book. “Tyler do it,” he says after each change.

In the beginning I was unsure of leaving Tyler alone in a room with Ryan. Tyler’s a runner and I envisioned a tripping incident followed by a flattened baby. I’m amazed at how careful and gentle he is with Ryan, though. As a matter of fact, he’s my own personal babysitter now.

If I’m going to leave the room for just one or two minutes, I put Tyler “in charge.”

“Don’t let Ryan go anywhere,” I’ll say.

With a dimpled smile on his face, Tyler will sit next to Ryan and watch him like a hawk. My return is met by “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Rynan no move.”

Once I came back and Tyler had placed a small collection of balls into the swing with Ryan. “I share,” Tyler said proudly. “He play ball, too.”

I know Tyler can’t wait for Ryan to be big enough to play outside with him. Just ask Tyler what he wants to teach Ryan. The list is long. “Play T-ball, play baseball, play golf, play basketball,” is more often than not Tyler’s response, followed by, “When he get bigger.”

I’m amazed every day at the little man my first baby is becoming and how caring he is toward others.

Every morning when I go into Tyler’s room, he first says “Hiiiii, Mommy” inevitably followed by, “Where is baby Rynan?” My response is followed by Tyler saying, “I kiss baby Rynan.” Tyler often wakes Ryan from a peaceful slumber by kissing his forehead over and over. I cringe when the naps are cut short, but Ryan doesn’t seem to mind.

At night, Tyler has his own special photo album full of family pictures that he keeps in his crib. About three weeks after Ryan was born, he asked Daddy if he could have a picture of Ryan to add to it.

“I like this picture,” he says when he looks at it at night.

There’s no doubt to me that Tyler loves his baby brother.

I can’t wait for the day when I see them playing ball together in the back yard. Of course, I don’t want that moment to come too quickly because I’m amazed at how fast the time is flying by. Before I know it they’ll both be grown.

Until then, I plan to cherish every moment and always wish the same for them—to be healthy, safe, and happy. I’d appreciate just a little more sleep along the way.

Posted in Healthy Living Features

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