Okay Daddy, it’s been a while since our last man-to-man discussion. I’ll let you off as you’ve been a bit busy and, when you’ve not been busy, it seems you’ve been falling asleep. Having a baby in the house is quite tough work for all of us (he wakes me up too, sometimes). Anyway, I thought now, three months in, might be a good time to clarify matters.
How come, even though I’m nearly four, and he’s only three months, he gets to go to bed after me?
Well, he may go to bed after you do, but he also gets up before you do. Several times.
Did I scream that much?
I’m interested that you ask that as if it’s a historical question….Only joking. Yes, you did. Then you learned to talk and have since become much more efficient at getting your message across.
Was I as demanding?
You were probably more demanding, or to be fair we were less experienced as parents. I speak as a little brother myself, so I always felt a little hard done to. Not with any real justification.
When will he learn to talk?
Probably when he thinks he can get a word in.
What’s my role?
You’re the big brother. As your little brother gets older, he will look to you, as much as he will look to his mum and dad, to learn things. He’ll probably listen to you more. You will play tricks on him, occasionally, but he’ll always look up to you, because you’ll always look out for him.
How do you know I’ll look after him?
Because I’ve seen how you look at him, how you want to cuddle him, how you’ll try to find a way to help when he’s crying, and how you love to play with him. If it’s possible to melt with love and burst with pride at the same time, that’s how it feels to see the two of you together.
So, how come you still won’t let me pick up my little brother on my own?
Because (a) I’ve seen you’re catching technique when we play in the garden; and (b) I know how hard you find it to resist the temptation to ‘throw pass’ anything you are holding. And he’s a little too heavy. But don’t worry, in a few years you’ll be giving him piggy backs just like I give you luxury passenger status on my back.
Does the fact there’s a new member of the family change how you feel about me?
Nothing could ever change that. Our new son is special but so are you. It’s been a year since I was made redundant and we’ve had a lot of time together. You probably don’t know it, but I’ve learned so much from you. And during the low moments, you’ve been there. Nothing will ever take that away from us. You’re my best friend and you’ll always be my best friend. We just each have another best friend.
So what’s next?
Well, we’re a family of four now. The support I’ve had from you and your mum has been fantastic and you may have noticed I’ve been doing more work recently. I’m going to be doing even more, but there’ll always be time for you and the whole family. Mind you, don’t forget you start school in September. That is probably a whole new conversation.
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