Oct 15, 2016

Baby Bing

10/15/2016 — cori

Chuck's brother, John and his wife Karen just welcomed Mason, their second child into the world yesterday. All the joy and excitement of a newborn has brought memories flooding back when, once-upon-a-time, we were in those same shoes.

As Chuck was talking with his brother, John was explaining how they would be introducing Mason to Logan (the older brother). They had read somewhere that it helps the transition of the older sibling. Makes perfect sense too. He said you say something like, "Mason, I'd like you to meet your big brother Logan" instead of vice-versa, "Logan, come meet your new brother." It has something to do with helping the elder child see that his place in the family is already established and still secure.

As new parents, this is a big deal! Especially when you are having a second child. It's impossible to imagine you can ever love another human being more than you love your first child. You want to make this transition as smooth as possible for both you and your oldest child. There are tons of articles on what and how to do this. I thought the method John and Karen chose was very wise. Then they asked Chuck, "So, how did you guys do it?" Well...we did things a bit...differently.

That's Gavin at almost three in the above picture. At the time, the articles in all the parenthood magazines about having your second child were saying you should buy a doll for your older child. We liked that idea. Gavin was totally up for that. He had already been playing with an old doll we had lying around the house. The experts were saying that if your oldest has a 'baby' of his/her own to hold while Mommy is holding the new baby, that they will connect with what Mommy is doing and won't feel so left out. Remember, feeling like your oldest will be left out is your biggest fear when welcoming your second child. So we bought into this train of thought hook, line and sinker.

We wanted to find just the right baby for Gavin. It had to be about the same size as a new baby. We wanted it to be light weight and not hard plastic. And we didn't want it to cost a fortune. We opted for a Cabbage Patch Doll. Unfortunately, at that time, most of those dolls were girls. We had a really hard time finding any little boy Cabbage Patch Dolls.

I'm not sure how or why, but we ended up buying a Chinese-looking Cabbage Patch Doll. We dressed it in one of the newborn onesies we received for Bennett. We had it wrapped in a shoe box, waiting for Gavin to open once he got to the hospital to meet Bennett. He instantly named him Bing. I have no idea where, why or how he decided on his name. Maybe he just looked like a "Bing." We didn't even tell him his doll was a Chinese baby.

Gavin cherished Bing. He took his job and his baby seriously! He held him, rocked him, fed him his bottle, carried him in a baby backpack, burped him, and kissed him. He also did the same for Bennett.

He cuddled him and told him important big brother stuff.

 He would read him books ad nauseum (Gavin memorized books and read them over and over and over to anyone who would listen - Bennett was a captive audience.). 

He would feed Bennett. 

He would teach Bennett how his toys worked.

And as Bennett got older and he found out he could make the baby smile and laugh - he was sold. They played incessantly together from then on. The benefits of Baby Bing were innumerable.

I would like to thank Baby Bing for helping Gavin with the transition to Big Brotherhood. As if giving your firstborn a Chinese Cabbage Patch Doll is just one more viable option for easing that ever fearful transition in life.  We were just starting off making the best choices we knew how, not knowing what adventures lie ahead in our little family's lives. Somehow, those choices turned into funny stories and adventures that you just can't make up. This would be the beginnings of MommyStories. However, I wouldn't start chronicling them for another 3 years.

And as it happens, Bing ended up transitioning over to Bennett at some vague point in time. We're not completely sure when, but Baby Bing was now Bennett's prize possession. And as such, he took on a completely different personality. Bing now had a whale-spout. He slept with Bing, therefore there were drool marks all over his body. He drug poor Bing around the house by said whale-spout. Bing was well-loved. We often had to wipe Bing down with Clorox Wipes when Bennett wasn't looking (cuz you're not supposed to wipe down real kids with Clorox Wipes and we were still trying to be as 'real' as possible). And of course, Baby Bing was always naked, much the way Bennett preferred to be.

 Baby Bing...the gift that keeps on giving.

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