One of our biggest anxieties when we had Matthew was how James was going to take it. James has been Mommy's Boy from day one. Especially since our move to our new house in 2008 he has been unwilling to be away from me for very long and severely shy of strangers and friends alike. If he wanted to play with the neighbors (or any other friend) I had to be within a 10 foot radius of where he was playing.
Not once did John and I even think that Samuel would be upset by the new addition to the family. Samuel is our independant, social go getter. He loves new expereinces and new people and sharing his ideas with the world.
Imagine our surprise when James became instantly enamoured with his new baby brother and Samuel didn't want to have anything to do with him. I chocked it up to James spending more time with Matthew, since he is only in school three mornings a week, and Sam just being that slightly older age when babies are annoying, not cute. Samuel also began to revert a little, wanting to be fed and wanting help getting dressed in the morning- both things he can do on his own with no difficulty whatsoever. We missed all sorts of signs because we weren't worried about our resiliant Sam.
We didn't really get that there was an issue until Samuel sat down with John one night and asked him flat out, "Dad, do you and Mom love Matthew more than you love me?"
John was flabbergasted! "No, Samuel. Of course not!"
"Then how come you do stuff for him, like feed him and dress him, that you won't do for me anymore?"
John explained to Sam that babies can't do those things for themselves and since Samuel is a big boy and can do those things we help him with other things instead, like homework and reading. To help him feel better, John asked Samuel if there was something he would like to do special with Daddy. A giant Star Wars battle ensued. (We are talking 6 days and 50+ action figures taking over the middle level of our house!) You would have thought Samuel just saw the sun for the first time, he was so relieved and happy to understand that our love for him had not lessened with the new baby.
My older boys are getting so good at expressing themselves and their needs that sometimes I forget how little they still are and how much they still need us to hold their hands. Of course, I still need my mom, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all. Do we ever grow out of needing our parents?