She loves her brother. Sometimes a little too much.
Sometimes we have to exile her to her room for a little while so she can do a little reflecting on pushing him with her feet (until he falls).
"I was just trying to tickle him."
Sometimes we have to break up their hugs (before she squeezes the last breath from his little body) ...
"I was just trying to kiss him."
All this loving comes with lots of admonitions:
Please don't hold him back. Please don't take ALL his toys. Please don't try and pick him up. Please don't crawl on top of him. Please stop yelling at him. Please don't pull on his clothes. Please stop grabbing at him. ...
"I was just wanting to play with him!."
I've tried explaining to her that he won't be little for long. One day he may even be taller and bigger than she is. She doesn't believe me.
She puts growing older and growing bigger in the same category. ...
"How old are you going to be on your next birthday? ... I bet when that birthday comes you won't even be able to fit in your car!"
No. She doesn't believe me that he could ever be bigger than she is since he will never be older.
She can't imagine (the way I can) that her brother may some day wrestle her to the ground and hold a droplet of spittle an inch from her nose before she screams for mercy and he sucks it back into his mouth like a strand of spaghetti.
All she knows is that when he pulls her hair or scratches her arm, instead of reminding her that he's a baby we are now telling him to be gentle.
She beams whenever he is told to be easy on his sister.
With all these little talks about how it's going to be as he gets more and more mobile -- more and more independent and interested in finding out what makes things work -- you'd think that I'd have been preparing myself for the end of his existance being so mommy-centric.
You'd think it wouldn't have come as a complete shock to me when I awoke this morning to the scratchy nails of the son clawing over my face to flop down in the arms of his sister.
I couldn't help but smile when he settled right down in and started snoring again while she shifted a little but never woke up.
There's never been any doubt in my mind that she loves her brother. Now there's no doubt he loves her right back.