Trying to be big

My heart goes out to big girl daughter. She is just five and trying very hard to cope with the new baby. She kisses him all the time and is tremendously good, but she can’t help noticing that life has changed for her. I no longer have time to cuddle her up every night, for instance, despite her constant pleas. She therefore keeps getting up in the night and coming into our bed. As the baby is there, she has to squat at the bottom of the bed with a pillow. She has taken to cuddling up my foot as it is the only part of me she can get hold of. Oh guilt. Apparently my foot is very warm.

The other day she asked to fall asleep in our bed and insisted on sleeping on the far right side [my side]. I said she would be more comfortable in the middle, but she answered that, if the baby was in the bed later, he could go in the middle, then me and then I could cuddle her up. I found her an hour later virtually gripping onto the side of the bed in her efforts to allow some room for her baby brother. Then an hour after that when I went up to bed, I discovered her lying at the top of the stairs with wet pj bottoms. She had clearly needed the toilet in our bed, panicked that she might wet it and tried to get to the bathroom, collapsing en route from sheer exhaustion.

During the daytime she is fine. She spends every spare hour writing books. Today’s is on The Little Lost Flower. I hope it is not an allegory for her own situation. She is very undemanding really. All she requires is a more or less constant supply of sweeties, if she can get them. She is aware of the need to eat healthily, however, and, since she is fairly clever too, always begins every plea for sweeties with a “It’s ok, mummy, I will have a carrot first and then I can eat my sweeties”. In fact, she is so far-sighted that she recently went to my mum’s and they were going to go to the cinema. This is about 20 minutes walk away from the cinema. “I think we should go in the car,” she announced to her grandmother. “If we walk, I will get tired legs and then you will have to carry me and it will be bad for your back.” She will make a masterful politician.

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