I’ve heard a few stories about young children picking up their baby siblings without their mother’s permission, and the mothers trying to retrieve the baby without the older child getting worked up and dropping the baby. I honestly figured if that happened to us, it would be the least of our troubles.
I’ve been expecting our two-year-old to try it. He doesn’t have a whole lot of sense of danger. He hits his head so much, he probably wouldn’t think too much of the baby falling on his. He’s even climbed into the crib with the baby several times. It was only a matter of time.
To my surprise, it was my responsible four-year-old who did the deed. While I was on the phone, he lured our combat-crawling baby into his room, and subtly closed the door. By the time I noticed the oddness of the closed door, I was too late. I opened it and came face to face with my baby in his brother’s arms, with his tiny arms stuck up, shoulders in his ears. Assessing my big guy’s firm hold on my little treasure, I casually asked, “Did you ask Mommy if you could pick up the baby?” Instead of a response, I got a look. It was a look of pride in his accomplishment, with a shadow of shame, but mostly pride. I calmly retrieved my baby and walked out of his room, saying over my shoulder, “Next time, ask Mommy first.”
Then I remembered. In the waiting room at the therapy clinic today, a boy was carrying his baby brother, and everyone was commenting on how cute the brothers were. The boy was about ten, but in my big guy’s eyes the boy was simply the big brother. My big guy LOVES cuddling our baby, and probably lavished the idea of carrying him.
In hindsight, I should have picked up on the big guy’s interest in our baby and initiated more opportunities for him to hold him (on the couch!). I guess I will now!
I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of our incident, because lately my big guy’s been doing naughty things to get attention, and I didn’t want to risk a repeat of this escapade. Here’s hoping he’s over this one!
Has your young son or daughter picked up your baby? How did you handle it?