And, oh... McKenzie and Carson were instantly wrapped around Timothy's little finger. I did nothing more than move my body around and click the shutter button for these pictures, and they are so filled with tenderness... and, bonus, they all happened to be wearing coordinating green outfits!
This little girl has earned the nickname 'little mama' because of the sweet, patient way she cares for baby Timothy. I knew she would be helpful... but she has been so much more. I know when Kenzie has Timothy that he is happy and feeling adored.
She also took great pride in going from this:
in just a few minutes. I'm starting to realize that one of the reasons some parents survive having large families is that the older ones start helping.
Carson was rather indifferent and/or slightly pessimistic throughout my pregnancy about welcoming a baby into the family. "They kind of cry a lot and need to be taken care of," you see. So his tenderness towards Timothy surprised me. I hope I can forever hear his little giggle in response to Timothy's little grunts and stretches. I pulled the video camera out for this first meeting, too, and could not turn it off. I'm of the opinion that many short home videos (less than two minutes) is immensely better than a long one most of the time... but I found myself still rolling the camera after 20 minutes - mostly because of Carson. He seemed to have been transported to another world... one where only he and Timothy existed. Precious. Precious and priceless. You can even see the dreamyness in Carson's eyes in this photo:
Yes, McKenzie and Carson were delightfully swept away in the calm and gentle love that only a brand new baby can bring.
(Love Carson holding Timothy's hand in the background of this next one)
So, where was Miles in all of this, you might ask. Well, poor Miles was not smitten. He didn't seem to be angry (and this boy knows how to do angry) or jealous, which is rather common among siblings this age. He didn't seem to be resentful or hateful towards Timothy either. He was just... sad. Sad and a little frightened. He sat against this wall and tried to play Go Fish with Daddy while Kenzie and Carson oogled over their baby brother... but mostly he cried.
He had met Timothy a few hours before, and the meeting had not gone as expected. He had been giddy and excited the whole time Timothy and I were in the hospital "Mom!" he said over the phone one day, "Listen. Tim-fy. See! I can say his name! Tim-fy!" and Brian said he had had the same excited attitude all the way home that Tuesday afternoon to meet the baby. I watched Miles skip up the back steps in that excitement and then, just as Brian put his hand on the doorknob, I watched the excitement disappear. His shoulders slumped, his head dropped and he needed some serious coaxing by Brian to come into the house at all. I disappeared into the living room holding the baby and called to Miles, "Hey buddy! Come see if you can find Timothy!" but when he rounded the corner, he refused to come in. He sat down just outside the room with a strangely sad and pouty face. And when I came closer to him with the baby in my arms, his eyes widened in a sort of fear and he started scooting away backwards. Eventually he turned his head when he could scoot no further. We were careful not to push and I gave the baby to Daddy. "Hey, Bud," I said in a casual sort of way, "let's go play memory!" His favorite game. But, for the first time ever (ever), he did not want to play. Instead he sat. With a sad face and pouty eyes. With a bit of persuasion we got him to agree on playing Go Fish, though his heart was never in it. The only way we found over the next few hours to get Miles to even acknowledge Timothy's presence was when I asked him to take a picture.
But that was as close as he got.
For two whole days.
If anyone even came close to him with the baby he would run away with a fearful look in his eyes.
On Thursday of that week Brian made it his personal mission to get Miles to hold Timothy. And, after much patient work, they all ended up on the same couch together... and Miles started (tentatively) looking at the baby.
But (after all that patient work) when Brian offered to let Miles hold Timothy, panic struck Miles and he fled.
As far away as he could think to go.
I asked him what was wrong, but he didn't feel like talking.
Poor Miles. I suggested we leave him alone and not push any more, but Brian was on a mission, remember?
And that is why the bribe came out.
"Miles, I'll give you a piece of gum if you hold Timothy," Daddy said when Miles bravely entered the room again. His little mouth turned down in a frown and his eyes welled up with tears. He wanted the gum... so desperately... but was scared (maybe even terrified?) to hold the baby.
Miles carefully crawled back onto the couch but made no effort to take the little bundle. And when Daddy tried to place Timothy in his lap he refused.
"Don't you want gum?" Daddy asked. Again, the frown and teary eyes made their appearance.
"But," oh how he was trying to control the wavier in his voice (heartbreaking), "he will cry if I hold him," he whispered.
"Nah," Brian said. "He's asleep, see? And, even if he does cry, I'll take him back from you. It's okay when babies cry... they just do that sometimes because they can't talk yet. That's how they tell us that they want something."
Miles wiped the tears from his eyes and stared at Timothy.
"Here," Daddy said, scooting closer to Miles, "we'll hold him together. And then you can have a piece of gum."
Miles held up two pudgy fingers, "Two pieces of gum?" Smart boy.
"Deal," Daddy agreed.
After Brian got Timothy settled in Miles's arms, he gently started pulling his own arms away. "I'm going to go get your two pieces of gum," he said. "You hold Timothy while I get them for you." Miles was anxious as Brian stood up, but then realized that he was doing it! And, my favorite, favorite picture:
That proud little face trying to hide behind that grin is perfect. Proud, he might have been... but certainly not content or even happy. He watched Brian with all his attention until he returned with the promised gum.
And then anxiously gave Timothy back.
Over the last two weeks, Miles has only gotten mildly better. He still has not held Timothy again, but he did gently rub some soap on his head this morning in the baby bathtub. And two days ago he said, "It's okay, Tim-fy," when he started fussing in his crib.
You watch - these two are going to be the best of friends... someday.