More important than all of that is the commitment we made once starting our little family - not to rush one child out of childhood simply because we are adding another . During all of this hustle we have spent hours explaining and including Isabelle in the preparations for the new arrival. Here is where I may contradict myself: I'm frugal. I prefer to save where ever we can. I don't find this to be a flaw but a life skill. Something along the lines of "here today gone tomorrow". Those who know this about me were wondering why we would order another crib, when Isabelle could move to a toddler bed and Fiona could use hers. As a matter of fact, some people think it's silly for us to have prepared and furnished an entirely new nursery.
Well, here's the deal:
Corey and I made the decision to expand this family. Our choice to do so does not make Isabelle age faster or become less of a baby in our eyes. We decided that an addition of a new baby does not automatically thrust the older sibling into independence.
We discussed the changes and asked Isabelle what she felt she was ready for.
"Isabelle, you sleep in your crib, right now that's Isabelle's bed. Would you like a big girl bed?"
"No, I like Isabelle's crib bed."
"Baby, when Fiona comes she'll be a small baby and will wear diapers. Mama will have to change her diapers a lot."
"I'll help you!"
"Thank you sweet pea. Well, Mama got you these big girl undies, would you like to try using the potty like a big girl?"
And after a few days of practicing our potty skills...
"Mama, it's too hard."
"Don't worry baby, we'll practice later. I'm proud of you for trying, such a big girl!"
I don't subscribe to the baby milestone race. I'm not impressed by a child that can walk at 9 months or a use the potty before the age of two. Every child is different. And I will not push or demand more from a child of mine than they are readily willing to try. I will not rush our first baby, who will always be our baby, out of her comfort zone because we decided to make her an older sister.
So the cribs are assembled and the new nursery painted and ready to go (after Fiona let's us know she's done with her co-sleeper ;-) ). Isabelle's room has had some renovations as well and she made some executive decisions on the new "look" of her space. I'm enjoying this magic time of preparing our home and our hearts. I have one sweet girl caressing my belly, petting my hair, and promising to help take care of Mama; while growing another sweet babe soon to join us. The way Corey and I have chosen to do things certainly isn't revolutionary. The idea of letting a baby be a baby or a toddler be a toddler isn't new. Whenever these little people that we've been blessed with caring for let us know they're ready for bigger and better things we will cheer them on in this bittersweet job of being parents.