The day after Savanna was born, Cliff brought Joshua to the hospital for a visit. This was the moment I have been looking forward to, yet dreading a bit as well. There was just no way to tell how Joshua will react to meeting his sister for the first time.
When I was pregnant with Savanna, everyone asked me if Joshua is ready for a sibling. I’ve always been of the opinion that he has no idea what is going on, despite the fact that we keep telling him that his mei-mei (little sister) will be coming soon. I don’t think you can really expect a two-year-old to know what that means.
When Cliff and Joshua first entered the hospital room, I made sure Joshua was acknowledged first. I said hi to him, told him how much I’ve missed him, and asked him if he had a good sleep the night before. He looked around the room but didn’t say much. Cliff and I then showed him the box of train set that we picked out for him as a present from mei-mei. He opened up the box and was very excited about the train set. He said, “Thank you, mei-mei.” I then showed him Savanna, and he was sort of distracted by the train set at that time.
Cliff set up the train set for him to play with. Joshua really enjoyed the train set, and said thank-you to mei-mei again. Cliff took him to get some lunch from the cafeteria, and brought the food back to eat in the room.
While Joshua was eating his lunch on the sleeping mat, Savanna started to cry. Joshua looked up at me, and looked at Savanna in my arms. All of a sudden I saw tears in his eyes, like we’re hurting his feelings. He put his food down, walked over to the bed, held up his arms towards Savanna, and said, “Joshua hold mei-mei.”
I wasn’t quite sure if he knew what he was asking for. I just remember looking at his chubby little hands held out towards Savanna, and thinking, man, when did this kid get so big? It wasn’t THAT long ago I was in this same hospital giving birth to him! I asked him to climb onto the bed, sit down, and we put Savanna in his arms. Joshua held her like he has done this before, and looked at her crying face for a good long while. He gave her a hug, gave her a kiss, and just held onto her. She actually eventually stopped crying. Joshua looked up at us, and said, “Mei-mei no crying.” He melted my heart right there into a puddle.
Joshua went back to eat his lunch and play with the train set. Before he left, he wanted to hold mei-mei again, so we let him. Then he said thank-you to Savanna again for the train set before Cliff took him home for his afternoon nap.
When we first went home from the hospital, Joshua was ok with Savanna being there. But the next day, he was clearly impacted by the presence of another human being taking up so much of my time. He was very clingy and whiny. I was in a moment of weakness emotionally myself. When he asked me to hold him, I held him and started sobbing. I felt guilty that I dragged him into this new family dynamic without his consent.
But the next day, I miraculously felt better, and so did Joshua. From that day on, he has been constantly asking to hold Savanna, pats her when she cries, and offering his toys to her. It just makes me so happy when I see him being so affectionate towards Savanna.
We’re taking things day by day right now, and not jumping into any conclusions about how their relationship will develop in the long run. I am really enjoying seeing their interaction and seeing how Joshua loves his little sister.