J is my first child, so he is used to 100% attention from me. If I'm not the one giving him the attention, then it's his Daddy. If my husband and I are having a conversation while eating dinner, J pipes up and starts whining and fussing. As soon as we turn our conversation to him, he cheers up. He's our little sweat pea and silly putty.
So when I take J on a car ride this past Saturday to visit a friend and her new baby, I was very curious to see how he'd react to his Mum holding another baby. J has done well with babies in daycare, LOVES them, but we haven't ventured to mixing these other babies with Mum.
My friend has a bull mastiff, which is no longer a puppy. By puppy I mean, small-baby-like-puppy. He is now 1.5 years old and is HUGE. So when J and I arrive at my friends house, J is greated by the dog with happy barks and sloppy slobber. J's daycare has 2 dogs so he isn't frieghtened by this remarkably large dog, but is very curious and wants to play with him.
While J is busy getting aquainted with his new buddy, I'm getting to know the new little (8 week old) bundle of joy. It wasn't too long when J discovers what's in my arms and when I ask him to come over to say HI, he puckers out his lips and furrows his eyebrows into a scowl and glares at me. I almost think he could have had his hands on his hips, but instead his squats down on the floor and starts whining and yelling at me. He did NOT like this baby with me. I tried to talk him into coming over to me, but it wasn't until I sent the newborn back to his Mama and then J finally came rushing to me as if he was declaring his Mum back. There were a few more scowls made by J while the sleeping baby layed next to his Mama. I felt discouraged with his attitude but in hindsight I think I could have approached the situation differently. Had I introduced J to our friends new baby first, then had him watch me hold the baby, maybe there would be a different attitude from him?
I feel guilty in admitting this, but I do forget that J has different reactions towards situations that I would. So it makes me feel like I'm not teaching him the fundamentals in communication. I have a hard time expressing my own feelings, so how the heck can I make sure J will appropriately express how he's feeling?