Letter to My Firstborn

Dear Elise,

In about 5 weeks, there will be a big change in our small family – you’ll become a big sister. I think you know that your didi is in my tummy because you point to it whenever we ask you. You also like to place your tiny hands on my tummy to feel his kicks and punches. Do you know he’ll grow a bit more and pop out as a little baby? At 21 months, you may be really shocked when that happens. You probably don’t have a clear enough concept of time to realise that 5 weeks is actually really soon!

Soon, you’ll find that what is currently all yours alone will have to be shared with a new person. Mummy’s milk. Grandpa’s time. Daddy’s attention. Your toys.  There are things which you are fiercely protective over, like your stuffed toy bear with no eyes (it wasn’t securely fastened so we plucked them out) and your smelly pillow. Didi shouldn’t be touching that for a few months, so you’re safe.

You’re displaying signs of growing up at a young age. You love going to playgroup and learning new things. You help out with the house chores, sweeping the floor with the broom and fetching laundry from the washing machine to the clothesline. At the supermarket, you’ll insist on pushing the basket full of groceries and even carried a 2.5kg pack of rice from the shelf to the basket!

You nod when we ask if you’ll feed didi with a milk bottle and bring new diapers too. The other day during lunch, you saw a chicken foot in the soup, showed us your hand and cried. It must have scared you! Then there’re times when you decide that you’d rather become a baby, like when you’re feeling extra sleepy and let me cradle you to sleep like an oversized newborn.

My first baby.

I joked to my friends that I had didi because you’re growing up too fast so I had to “renew my newborn”. It’s a lousy joke. People say mothers can multiply their love when they have more than one child. I’ll love you and another too. It’s going to be a huge challenge. I didn’t experience growing up with a sibling to tell you how it will be like, but I can already guess.

It’ll be a love-hate relationship with petty squabbles, tattle-telling and secrets only the two of you will share.


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