Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

Her little [no, we're not saying yet] isn't even here and we're already having some sibling rivalry issues. A while back, when Celeste realized that our talk about babies meant that a new baby would be coming into the house, she decided to start changing the subject. Prior to that, BABY had been one of her most frequent signs. After a few months, however, BABY started reappearing, and she seemed to be getting used to (if not actually cottoning to) the idea of being a big sister.

And that has been the key concept: big sister, not new baby. It has to be about Celeste. If I say something about mumma having a baby, Celeste gets quiet or changes the subject; if I say something about her being a big sister, then she gets excited and will sign BABY or otherwise engage the idea.

For the past month or so, while we're doing the post-bath wind down, I'll ask Celeste if she's a tired puppy. Usually she signs DOG and makes her little barking noise, then pauses and roars — she's not a tired puppy, she's a tired lion cub.

Tonight, I asked if she was a tired little lion, she roared and nodded yes. I then asked if mumma was a big lion, and she roared and said yes. Then I asked if daddy was a big lion; again, a roar and a yes. I next made the mistake of asking if [the name we're most likely using] was a little lion, and Celeste took wubanub out of her mouth and very sternly and emphatically said no. I then asked if [name] was a little giraffe (another of Celeste's favorite animals), which got a tepid no, or a little zebra, which got a fairly noncommittal response ...

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