Leading up to Antonia’s birth, Felix would ask me most mornings, ‘is the baby coming today?’ ‘I don’t think so’, I would reply, despondently. ‘We will see,’ he would reply, ‘we just have to wait and see.’
When she finally came he was sleeping. Mum told him when he woke up. Apparently he was a little upset at first that we had gone to the hospital but he soon collected himself and declared: ‘I have to make a present for Mummy. The baby has lots of presents but Mummy needs one too.’ And he made me a beautiful card.
He was very anxious to come and see us, and much too excited to eat, so he squeezed himself into a little stroller our friends lent us, and Mum walked him down to the train station. On the train journey to see ‘our baby’, he said to Mum ‘we will love the baby, won’t we.’ This is a quote from a book he has about a new baby coming, but just so sweet.
When he met Antonia, he was quite nervous to begin with and much too shy to touch her. But he soon gathered up the courage to show her his new train track and lend her her bear. (‘The baby’s bear’ was a gift from Mum to Antonia, but it has been entirely appropriated by Felix, who sleeps with it and his bear every night.)
We’ve had a few more mood swings and a bit more whining from him, but on the whole he has coped with the new addition amazingly well. He loves to kiss her, stroke her, and play with her feet. A couple of nights after we arrived home he declared: ‘I like it when Mummy and Daddy have a baby.’ And one morning he saidcheekily: ‘I like my Mum. I like my Dad. I like my Gram. I like my babe.’ Last night I read Felix his bedtime stories while Antonia sat on my lap and looked at the pictures – Antonia’s first book, and the very first time I had read a book to both my children at once. Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport (Felix’s choice). Then I fed Antonia as I watched Felix fall asleep and felt so very happy.