March 20th, 2011
Two nights before Buggie’s birth, I had a massive bout of multi-child anxiety. I was overwhelmed with worries about what having a younger brother would be like for Miss Mouse. Would she feel neglected? Supplanted? As an only child, I just had no frame of reference for siblings. I feared that the biggest impact of Buggie’s arrival on Miss Mouse’s life would be that she got less time with me and that this would make her sad.
Somehow, in all my imaginings of what her life with a little brother would be like, I totally failed to visualize how much she would love him.
Miss Mouse adores her brother. She showers him with kisses and comes dangerously close to strangling him with her enthusiastic hugs. She brings him toys and tickles his tummy. She sings him songs and “reads” him stories, carefully holding her books up so he can see the pictures. She often asks to hold him and loves it when we prop him up in her lap on the couch.
When Buggie cries, Miss Mouse races to his side and soothes him with a solicitous — “It’s okay, little brother. It’s okay.” — and a pat on the head. And darned if it doesn’t work much of the time. Her presence tends to calm him.
And for his part, Buggie is captivated by everything that Miss Mouse does. He watches her like a hawk, craning to keep her in his line of vision, and giggles wildly at her affectionate buffeting.
I won’t pretend that it’s all hugs and kisses all the time. She has her moments when she takes out her two-year-old angst on her little brother with a slap or a push, but on the whole, the bond of siblings has been a glorious revelation to me.