Jealousy

Last week some friends asked us to watch their one-year-old son Spencer. I had the day off work, so I was home to help out. Elena was still asleep when he arrived, so he played on his own for the first little while. He seemed interested by types of toys he probably hasn’t seen at home, especially necklaces. He didn’t quite know what to do with them, but he knew that they were different.

After Elena woke up and came downstairs, the jealousy started up pretty quickly. At first she didn’t want him to hold any of her things, but we seized the opportunity to work on her sharing skills, and before long she would respond to our request to find a toy that he could play with and bring it over to him. We’ll need more opportunities like this in the next few months to prepare her for Moonbeam.

Spencer must have been tiring, because out of nowhere he started to cry and came over for me to hold him. This brought out a new strain of jealousy in Elena. Ever since she’s been able to indicate that she wants to cuddle, she’s always wanted to have Jenny cuddle her and rejected me. But just as soon as I had another baby on my shoulder, Elena tried to squeeze onto my lap. Over and over she came back to me, but I was not positioned to accommodate her for very long. Eventually she decided to win my attention by focusing on Spencer. She patted his back and tried to cover him with her blanket.

Spencer only slept for about forty-five minutes, but it had a lasting effect on Elena. After he left, she wanted to cuddle with me. She still prefers Jenny, but is not completely opposed to a daddy cuddle. It was a reminder to me of how quickly an element of a relationship can go through a transformation, especially when an external stimulus is introduced. We’re trying to prepare Elena for Moonbeam’s arrival, but none of us know what it will be like until the new baby arrives.

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