siblings and the bonds they share

Before Baby Z came into the picture, Lil J was the complete center of attention.  Not only with myself, my hubby and Miss S but with his cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  For a couple years he was the baby of the family.  And did he ever feed off all that attention!

Never one to be shy about expressing his feelings, Lil J was emotional and definitely went through all of his many phases.  As my pregnancy with Baby Z came to an end, I worried that Lil J would retaliate negatively as the center of attention would suddenly shift from him to the new baby.  They were the exact same worries I had for Miss S right before Lil J was born.  I wanted to protect the kids from the inevitable and make them still feel like everything was all about them.

And so Baby Z was born and Lil J, just like Miss S before him, took on his new role as the big sibling with ease.  He embraced his new title, Big Brother, proudly and told everyone and anyone who would listen about his new Baby "ZoZo".  I was taken aback and beyond proud of my little man - he hardly showed an ounce of jealousy and loved his new baby sister like crazy.
"Shhhh...don't cry baby, don't cry"

Over a year later, I take a look at these two and am so amazed at their instant bond that it literally tears my heartstrings out.  Here are some proud mama moments I've witnessed so far:
  • In Baby Z's early days, Lil J would lie down beside her on the bed and just stare at her.  He would also kiss her a million times over.
  • As Baby Z started to become more aware, every single time she saw her big brother, she would squeal with excitement, smile from ear to ear and roll over to her side to reach out to him.
  • When Lil J was in daycare at 2 1/2 and his friends got a little too close to Baby Z's car seat, he yelled, "Get away from my baby sister!", followed by a growl.
  • He talks frequently about his Baby ZoZo at preschool, so much so, that his own teachers now call her Baby ZoZo.
  • When he caught a toddler pulling her arm, he stepped between them and yelled at the toddler to stop touching his baby sister.  Apparently Baby Z has a built-in bodyguard!
  • Even when Baby Z playfully kicks and punches her big brother in the face, Lil J will laugh it off and tell me that Baby ZoZo is so cute.

When I see these moments in action, I get that tingly feeling inside that my husband and I must be doing something right with these kids.  After all, parenting doesn't come with any training and you're pretty much blindsided more than once in any given day with anything from sticky situations {literally!} to tough questions to difficult bedtimes.

It's all in the life of a parent, right?

Baby Z trying to wake up her big brother up

How do you encourage your children's relationships with each other?  Share your sibling bond stories in the comments below!

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