Saturday, May 12, 2012

Watermelon Seeds

(I wrote this several years ago, when my children were young).

I was going on three years old when Mommy announced that I would soon be joined by a baby brother or sister. I had known something important was about to take place because Mommy's belly kept getting bigger and bigger, and she and Daddy kept referring to "the baby", and they obviously didn't mean me.

Daddy explained that Mommy had swallowed a watermelon seed. I loved watermelon, but didn't recall eating watermelon the whole time we lived in Germany, when Mommy's belly first started growing. I figured he was just pulling my leg.

Mommy said the baby was "due" around Christmas. My old crib was dusted off  and set up in my "playroom". Next, Mommy bought some brightly colored fabric and sewed curtains for the new nursery. My former "desk" became a changing table, completely outfitted with diapers, blankets, lotion and powder. The worse was yet to come. Mommy reclaimed all of my old baby clothes, which my dolls had been wearing, and left their wardrobes sadly depleted. They sat on my bed like raggedy orphans, just wating to catch a chill.

The baby, which turned out to be a girl, was finally born and came home on New Year's Day. She settled into our home rather smoothly, too quickly, in my opinion. Here was this little stranger that entered our lives and overnight became the center of attention. Where did I fit in, I wondered?

I slowly came around, especially when I found out all the good things my Mommy was feeding my baby sister. Mommy caught me more than once licking the spoon clean for my baby sister, but that didn't phase me one little bit! At the next feeding time I would be right there again, waiting to taste the carrots or banana pudding. What I really loved, though, was the baby bottle. Whenever I felt sleepy, I would sneak into the baby's room and take the bottle out of her crib.Once, Mommy found me hiding with the bottle, looking like the guilty culprit that I was. I got one of Mommy's "You know better than that" looks.

Still, Mommy noticed when I was feeling left out. She smiled and gave me a hug, reassuring me that she and Daddy loved me. That made me feel better.

I realized that I was now the older sister when my baby sister was strapped into the car seat and I was promoted to the seatbelt section. I had always hated that car seat, but it sure looked comfortable to me now. My beloved stroller also became the property of my little sister. I was fighting back tears on the day that Mommy took us for a walk and I had to walk alongside my old stroller. I deliberately gave Mommy a hard time, running ahead, or planting my feet in one spot and refusing to budge.

I'm four years old and I've learned to accept my little sister, sometimes grudgingly, but mostly lovingly. She's good at a number of things, like pinching, punching, pulling, pushing, that I admit she learned from me. But she's fun to play with, too, and Mommy says that I'll never be alone, since I have a baby sister. I have to look out for her, she tells me.
She'll probably always want to tag along, and I'll be advised by Mommy to share my toys and set a good example. There is one consolation, though. I was here first!


lil red hen said...

Fantastic story, Anita! I was the baby sister, 6 1/2 years younger than my big sister and I know she had a lot of aggravation from me. I was a total surprise to her. Funny how times have changed isn't it?

Mary said...

Cute story...I remember being told the 'watermelon seed' story. I was 41/2 when my little brother was born. I remember the day he came home from the hospital, I hung on the side of the baby bed and just stared at him...He was always a pest...still is...but he sure is a good pest !! Happy Mother's Day.

Janet, said...

Sweet story. I am the baby, therefore, I never felt the jealously thing. I don't know if my big sisters did or not. Funny, though, my oldest sister always got along with me better than she did the middle sister. They liked to fuss a lot.