I was going to make a post tonight about it being a year ago today that we traveled to Atlanta, and while that is on my heart today, it's not what's bothering me the most tonight.
I am worrying about Tessa and what having this baby is going to do to her. First of all, let me preface what I am about to say with this: I love my daughter. She is the light of my world, and I would die for her. But, she can be difficult at times, especially with me. My parents were always very, very hard on me growing up, expecting perfection most of the time, and I always swore I wouldn't do that with Tessa. So, I've never been a strict disciplinarian with her at all, and she knows I'm not and takes advantage of it at times.
She's also high-spirited, strong-willed and a drama queen, and truth be told, I've spoiled her, even though I hate that term. Food spoils; kids don't, is what I usually say, but Tessa is really used to getting her own way with me. Now, don't take that to mean I let her get away with dangerous or age-inappropriate activities. She's safe with me, but she knows I will let her stay up 15 minutes later than normal or give her an extra serving of ice cream.
We have been working on getting her to accept the fact that when I say no, I mean it, but it's been a slow go. She knows it with Brian, my aunt (who babysits her), at school, but with me, I think she knows that no matter what she does, I'm always going to love her, so she really lets go with me.
Also, she is used to spending a lot of time with me. In the evenings, we read, watch television together and sometimes I even lay down with her as she's going to sleep. Usually, it's just the two of us because Brian has to go to bed so early for his job. I do everything for her, and I usually can get whatever she wants right away. Honestly, we've been working on her independence issues a lot over the past year, and now, if she wants a snack, she can get it herself and doesn't expect me to do it. But, I've heard kids regress when a new baby is born, so I'm expecting her to lose some of this independence. I know that would be the normal thing to happen.
Now, I hate that I've made her out to be some kind of little monster, because she's not. I love her spirit, and I love how close we are. At times, I don't even mind the drama queen bit, because it's just her personality. It's a part of her. My friend at work once told me that his daughter reminded him a bit of that poem about the little girl, the one that went, "When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid." Honestly, I hate using good or bad to describe her, because bad or good behavior doesn't define her, so I like to say about Tessa, "When she has good behavior, it is very, very good, but when she has bad behavior, it was horrid."
My aunt who babysits her, her teachers and even Brian when he's with her by himself often say how she is no trouble whatsoever, so it's really just me. And, I know I brought a lot of it on myself by not being strict.
My family knows how she is with me, so they've all been warning me about how bad it's going to be when Ella gets here. They've told me she's going to be so jealous of the new baby, that Brian is going to have take care of Ella while I deal with Tessa, that she's going to regress so much, etc. They also said it would much, much harder on her because of how old she is. Others, who don't know Tessa as well as we do, have said she'll be fine and a little mother, but I just don't know.
I know she's going to be jealous. I was hoping it wouldn't be so bad, but I had a nightmare last night and then something happened this afternoon that made me think I might be wrong.
Last night, I dreamed Ella was here, and Tessa was so mad at me. She yelled and cried and said she hated me and the baby and wished Ella would go away and never come back. It was awful. I was crying, she was crying and the baby was crying. I woke up in tears.
Then, today, when I went to pick her up after work, my nephew was there. He's about 18 months old and wanted to sit on my lap because Tessa was sitting there, too. She didn't want him there and starting crying when I told her she needed to let him. I've been talking to her about how it's going to be when the baby gets here, so I think it might have come from that.
I just don't know what to do. I want to make this transition as easy on her as I possibly can, and honestly, I want to make it easy on all of us. I don't want her to hate me, and I don't want her to hate her sister. Sometimes, I just feel like "What have I done?" when it comes to our family changing. Don't get me wrong. I want Ella more than anything; I just don't want adding to our family to make Tessa hate me.
Maybe it will sound stupid to some people, and maybe some will say I'm worrying for nothing, but I can't help it. It's even taking a lot of my focus away from the grief I know is coming over Jenna's death. I don't want to be afraid of what's to come with Tessa. I want her to be overjoyed about a new sibling. I told her last night that Ella will be her best friend someday. Does anyone have any experience about adding a new baby to the family with a much older sibling (six and a half years old) who is high-spirited and strong-willed?
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