The moment we told Sophie back in April she was going to be a big sister was really special.
“Is that OK, Sophie?”
“That’s fine.” Aww.
Since then, we’ve been busily preparing her for the major changes that she would face when her little baby brother or sister arrived on the scene. And she’s been very excited – even if her ideas for baby names consisted merely of “Baby” and “Sophie”. Not particularly original…
We’d always said we wanted her to be the first person aside from us to meet the latest addition to our family.
Tuesday lunchtime, just four and a half hours after he arrived, she got her opportunity…
I’d arranged to whisk her up from nursery and when I got there all the children were sat down at the tables, happily tucking into their lunch. All of them that is, aside from Sophie who was charging round excitedly, shouting “I’m a big sister! I see Baby Harry” at the top of her voice. Priceless.
We got in the car and I talked to her about him as we headed to the hospital to see him and Mummy. The exchange went something like this:
Me: “Are you looking forward to meeting him?”
Sophie: “Yes. He can’t talk like me.”
Me: “That’s right, so you’ll have to look after him.”
Sophie: “I got him a teddy bear.” etc
She was quite right – we’d taken her teddy shopping in the summer and she couldn’t wait to take it into him. She carried the bag as we headed for the birth centre, the place where her life began and now the place where her life as she knew it was about to change forever.
She charged down the corridor, unwittingly entering other birth rooms in her enthusiasm. Fortunately, it was a very quiet day and there was no-one else in any of them. That could have been quite awkward.
Harry’s door was closed so Sophie knocked a little tentatively. Mummy’s voice echoed through the door. “Come in.”
I opened it and Sophie ran across the room. Harry’s cot was in the way initially so she couldn’t see him but as soon as she did, she was climbing up onto Mummy’s lap, desperately trying to give him a cuddle and a kiss.
She presented him happily with his teddy, a little vigorously if anything!, before snatching it back up again to carry it round with her grinning, “This is Baby Harry’s teddy.”
A beautiful smile plastered across her face, she cuddled into the two of them and smiled gleefully for a family selfie. With that important job ticked off, she bounded off to check out the other exciting accessories in the room, namely a giant bathtub and a swirling coloured tube which fires out bubbles.
Just as an aside, one really special aspect of the whole experience was actually taking Sophie back into the room where 976 days ago she was born. It was just across the hallway and I couldn’t resist stepping inside with her. So surreal and yet so fitting to do with her.
Back with Harry, her response to him has been a lot of gentle stroking, little kisses and mimicking her daddy’s reassurances to him when he gets upset. It’s really quite odd hearing little phrases like, “It’s alright matey” or “Everything’s OK buddy” from your two year old daughter but it’s super cute.
Since their first meeting, Sophie has been so kind and generous with her attitude towards him. Sure, the feelings of jealousy and perhaps a bit of bitterness will come in at some point, but for the moment she is so excited to see him when she wakes up, sad to say goodnight to him when she traipses off upstairs, very helpful with nappies, desperate to look after him.
Her behaviour has been such a blessing.
So, there it is, when Harry met Sophie. Fair to say, it was sibling love at first sight.