But this new shift is different. He gets frustrated and confused very easily, even by things that previously didn't bother him. He gets angry, screaming, banging things, and not eating his food. He's also being exceptionally needy, constantly wanting cuddles, wanting an extended bedtime routine, and still screaming and crying when we leave him.
At the same time, he's showing a huge shift in his ability to understand concepts, and also referring to things from books that haven't been read to him for ages. The interesting thing about those books are that previously he never showed any understanding of the things referred to in them, or even said the words. Now he's coming up with many of them from memory, unbidden.
And now MaybeZoe is here...
Just by his nature, I always thought he'd be a good big brother. But, a new baby in the house, demanding the attention of both parents at a time when he's moody and needy, was bound to evoke a prefectly reasonable level of animosity from him towards her.
Except it hasn't, not so far.
In fact, he's been substantially better than we could have hoped. Not just good, but amazingly, delightfully good. From his first time seeing her in the hospital, he was rapt. Everything about her fascinates him. And he's unbelievably gentle with her, fingertips gently touching and poking. Even though she's drawing attention away from him at a time when he's really demanding it, he loves being around her, watching her, and touching her.
Last time we took them out together, he spent a portion of the time reaching out so she could hold his hand. Today I took him and mum out, and he was really upset that MaybeZoe wasn't in the babyseat next to his. When he hears her crying, he starts saying, "Bubby coming?" He's actively looking forward to her being around. Tonight, he was making his toys kiss her.
If fact, in the short term the real problem will be him loving her too much. Need to make sure he's not putting toys in with her, trying to give her a blanket or pillow, and so on.
We're under no illusions, it can't last, but for the moment, he's being the sweetest brother ever.
Lex, in years to come you'll read this and we want you to know, you really are an amazing big brother. MaybeZoe, you've been blessed in your first days to have a brother who loves you so very much, even while going through a rough time himself.