When I became pregnant with Sarah, I was very concerned about how the new baby would get along with the twins. This fear was amplified when I discovered I was having a girl. My reasoning was that a boy wouldn't be too interested in his very girly older sisters. However, a girl would yearn to be included.
Much to my relief, the twins have accepted Sarah as one of their own. Or, more accurately, Sarah had demanded that she be included in all activities, and the twins do as they're told! Dan refers to Sarah as the triplet that was 2 1/2 years late.
Since Sarah's birth, Bethie has assumed ownership of Sarah. She acknowledges that I am the primary caregiver, but struggles with the idea that she is not next in line (this became an issue when Sarah started daycare). Bethie keeps an eye out for Sarah, and is mostly sweet, and kind, and loving towards her. It took Katie a little longer to "warm up". She now dotes on Sarah, which Sarah appreciates. Often, Sarah will grab on tightly to Katie in order to give her a hug and a kiss. These "hugs" are painfully long, but Katie endures them. It's very important to Katie that Sarah feels loved.
This is not always true. The twins sometimes torment Sarah. They grab her blankie and take off. They snatch toys out of her hand. They tease her. And this is what happened the other day. I brought the twins' "Reign of Terror and Frustration" to an end. I said that they were behaving like bullies. I told them that we are judged by how we treat the weakest and the littlest among us. I would not tolerate any member of this family being made to feel helpless. Tears were spilt, apologies extracted, and hugs and kisses were liberally passed around.
But I was angry. I was frustrated. I want so much for there to be a natural equality amongst my children. I want them to know that they are individually, and collectively, important. I don't want the whims of the older children to become an obstacle that Sarah must continuously overcome. I want each of my daughters to feel like they belong, and that they are wanted.
That night I was lying in Katie's bed with both Katie and Bethie between me and the wall. We were discussing all the DVDs we do and don't have (don't worry, I don't "get it" either). Sarah was in her room, tucked into bed for the evening. She began to cry. My blood pressure started to soar (that's how I react to my kids crying) and I try to hurry up this endless goodnight ritual. Bethie said to me "Why is our baby crying?".
Our baby. This is how Katie and Bethie view her. As our baby. She belongs to all of us, and we belong to her. I was thrilled! This is evidence that the twins have truly accepted her. My heart swelled, and I thought "My cup runneth over".