Friday, August 6, 2010

Being Prepared

In all of my research on helping kids and dogs get along, one of the most important things is to get dogs used to the physical changes around the house as soon as possible. I always recommend:
  • Figure out where baby furniture will live and put it there ASAP. If you can't do that just yet, at least move any dog beds or other furniture that will need to be moved.
  • If the dog will no longer be allowed on the bed or furniture when baby is here, put that rule into effect today.
  • Ban access to rooms that will be off limits when baby appears.
There are of course other things to do, but these are the ones that apply to today's post.

So we've got a new baby coming to our family. Our "Wiggle," for lack of an actual name. The dogs have been through this already and while we'll be reviewing basic obedience and playing the baby sounds CD, nothing too terribly much will change for them. Well, Havana may decide she doesn't want to sleep next to my side of the bed as I have to get up more and more, but that's up to her.

What will be changing, though, is life for my girls. Bug is already pretty used to things being set up for a toddler, but she doesn't remember much of what it's like to be at a newborn's beck and call. Or screech and cry. And this will be totally foreign to Sprout all together.

One of the first things we had to do was change how we talk about dolls to Sprout. We discovered this when we introduced her to a newborn baby and she tried to pick up the baby and rock it like she does her dolls. Well, of course she would! How is Baby Carrie Fisher-Price (the doll) different from Baby L? There is no difference to a toddler. So now we call the dolls "little" and babies "baby". I don't know if it's working or not, but Sprout did not try to strangle Baby A like she does Little Carrie, so hopefully it is.

We're also going to have to move furniture around. The girls will be sharing a bedroom, which will be an adventure for all of us. Bug already knows that this will happen and we've been talking about it when the opportunity arises. It's a little hard to prepare Sprout for this since it's so abstract. And unfortunately she won't be ready for a big girl bed until after Wiggle is here, so I can't have her all set up and ready before he's here. But if one girl isn't freaking out too much that's half the battle.

And because Sprout is a little stinker, we're going to make sure that there is a safe place for Bug and her things, just as we have for the dogs and cats. The plan is to build a loft above Bug's bed, sort of like an unused upper bunk bed, with a railing around it and a little door. With any luck, Bug will be able to climb up there to escape the wrath of Sprout and maybe, just maybe reduce some chaos. Let me have my delusions, ok?