Timmy leaned over the side of the baby carrier and pulled back the corner of the blanket to get a better view of his new little sister's face. Gently, he reached a finger out and touched her tiny arm. It had been less than a week since we brought the new addition to our family home, and all the children were equally curious about her.
"Was I this small?" Timmy said.
"Yes, you were," I responded, "all babies are very small when they are born."
"But I am a big boy now!" Timmy exclaimed.
"Yes, you are!" I said, laughing at how proud he was of himself.
Kate entered the room and looked at Ellie.
"Can I hold her?" she asked.
I patted the seat next to me, and Kate sat down. I carefully picked Ellie up out of her carrier and placed her in Kate's lap, instructing her to be sure to hold her very carefully, because babies this small cannot support their own body weight yet.
Kate put her finger in Ellie's palm, and Ellie wrapped her little hand around Kate's finger.
"Look, Mom!" Kate exclaimed, "Ellie held my hand!"
"I see that," I said
"Mom, when Ellie gets big, I am going to teach her how to draw like me" said Kate
I told Kate that she would be a very good drawing teacher for her little sister.
We sat there in silence for several minutes until Tony came running in to the room.
"Mom," he said angrily, "Ziva won't stop crying, and she's driving me insane."
I followed Tony in to the dining room and sat down on the floor next to my crying two and a half year old.
"Ziva," I said, "What's wrong?"
"Mommy no loves me no more," she pouted
"What?!" I said, picking her up and putting her in my lap, "Of course mommy loves you. I will always love you. What makes you think I do not love you?"
"You replaceded me," she said.
I sighed, knowing where this was coming from now.
"Ziva, I will never replace you. We will always love you, but that does not mean we will not love Ellie, too," I explained, "Do you think that after you were born that I stopped loving Timmy? Or that after Timmy was born that I stopped loving Kate and Abby and Tony?"
"No," she said, reluctantly.
"See, it just means that there is someone else for our family to love, too. But Ellie did not replace you, Ziva."
"But I not the baby no more," she said sadly.
I laughed. "Of course you are still my baby, Ziva. And I love you just as much as I did before Ellie was born. But you know what?"
"Having a new baby sister means you get a promotion!"
"A promotion?" she asked
"Yes, a promotion. It means you get promoted to Big Sister," I said. "It is the best promotion you can get. Just ask Kate and Abby."
"Ooh," she said, eyes wide with wonder.
"Now, Big Sister," I said, "How about you come with me in the kitchen. It is time for your sister to eat, and maybe you can help me give Ellie her bottle, because that is something that only very special Big Sisters and Big Brothers get to do."
She eagerly agreed, and together we walked in to the kitchen. Maybe I could even get Ziva to learn to love her new baby sister, too.
Welcome to the team, Ellie!