Lately I’ve been feeling bad for my toddler. Nevermind that she’s going through her “normal” I’m-2-so-sometimes-I-flip-out-for-no-reason stage, she’s handled a lot the last year: She flat-out got her babyhood stripped away with the birth of my second daughter.

And so it went: My first baby had to grow up. Just like that.

Two babies: Same breakfast, same treatment.

Two babies: Same breakfast, same treatment.

At 1.5 years old (back then), I was so impressed and excited the way my first born rose to the occasion of being the big sister. She loved the baby (still does, even though they tug-of-war and bicker over toys), she helped me with the little things that her barely-a-toddler self could contribute to, she patiently waited for her milk/breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner if I asked her to “please wait” on account of my hands being tied with the baby.

But now I think all her wonderful efforts might be catching up. The last month or so she’s been especially ‘toddler-y’ (turns cranky on a dime) and very interested in acting like a baby again.

She asks for the same breakfast of Cheerios, banana and milk that her little sister has. She gets a kick out of me giving in to hold her hands above her head when she walks (as though I’m teaching her how to walk, like I do with her sister). She sweetly asks me if I can rock her to sleep like a baby. And with each small request, my heart squeezes so tight the tears well up in my eyes. In other words: Yes, her attention-getting efforts are working like a charm.

The bare truth is that my first baby is no longer a baby… and the fact that she knows it (and is seemingly trying to hold on a bit) gets to me.

So yes, from time to time I will cave to give her the Cheerios without a plate, ‘teach’ her how to walk (as we both giggle at the silliness of it all) and carry and rock her 32ish-lb body to sleep. Happily. If she longs for a little bit more attention during this weird toddler-time in her life, I’m game to give it if it helps her cope with her baby sister in the house (within reason, of course… temper-tantrums are still frowned upon and sternly dealt with). But the baby-treatment? No problem (as long as she asks nicely and it doesn’t last too long). Because in the big picture, isn’t that what mommies are for?


2 Responses to Why I’m treating my toddler like a baby.

  1. My daughter never did this. She acted like a second mom the entire time. She was a bit of a bossy pants, even to me! 😉 Like she knew more about taking care of the new kid than I did. LOL

  2. Hmm I had never considered this may happen with the older sibling. I will have to watch out for those attention getting attitudes. Good to know it’s ok to give them some grace.

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