Daisy has settled noticeably in the last two or three days, which is a relief all round. She has, from the first, been nothing but gentle and kind with Henry himself – she’s not yet three, so the form that her loving can take is not always ideal, and he needs pretty much constant protection from her, but she means well, and thinks he’s wonderful, which is great.
Sadly, in pretty much every other sense, her behaviour has taken a distinct dive. Possibly the most irritating element (to me, at any rate) is the screaming at the top of her voice when she doesn’t get her own way. Of course, the world has been very strange and confusing, and the screaming and shouting is primarily about expressing her frustration, and I’m all in favour of expressing your emotions – even (especially?) when you’re two and three-quarters. And, of course, plenty of two year olds do this sort of thing anyway, without the shock of a new baby to deal with. However, yesterday she only shouted once, that I remember, and wasn’t timed out at all (a couple of days ago, she had two timeouts just during the hair-brushing stage. It’s certainly been a challenging time…).
I think allowing time to pass has made the main difference – it’s a period of adjustment, and you just have to let that take its course, really. Also, the stream of visitors has dropped right off, and she was getting far too much attention, stimulation and excitement from the number of people around the house. She did show off a bit for the health visitor, on Friday, but not to the degree that she has with most of the people who’ve been. Other factors include Daddy making an effort to build lego towers with her – sufficiently interesting, sufficiently interactive with another person, and sufficiently calm to make a real difference to her mood; and Mummy putting her to bed, for a treat – Kevin’s been doing that job for some weeks, largely in preparation for the demands of the new baby (plus being heavily pregnant made me too tired to be bothered), but on Friday night we had a lovely half-hour of Mummy-Daisy time, which we both really seemed to benefit from. Plus we talked theology, which is always fun with small children:
Daisy: Why is the sky blue?*
Me: Because God made it be blue.
Daisy: The God in the stories, or the God who’s here?
Me: They’re the same God – there’s only one God.
Daisy: Why is there only one God?
Me: (a little flummoxed) There just is. God made the world, and all the people. He was there first, and he’s the only one.
Daisy: Did God make me?
Me: Yes, he did.
Daisy: But you made me in your tummy! (Aha! Caught out there, Mummy!)
Me: Well, yes, but I didn’t do it by myself. You grew in my tummy, but God made you grow in my tummy.
Daisy: Did God make you in Grandmum’s tummy?
Me: Yes, he did.
Daisy: Did God make the trees?
Daisy: Did God make my pyjamas?
Me: Well, not exactly. God made the things that pyjamas are made of, and he made the people who were clever enough to make the pyjamas, so kind of.
Daisy: (thinks for a minute) God’s very clever.
* I realise that there is a scientific answer to this question, but being told what it is repeatedly doesn’t cause the information to stay in my head. It turns out, I’m not remotely interested. Kevin can tell her about science, if he wants. Anyway, if I’d given the scientific answer, we wouldn’t have talked about God, which was much more interesting, in my opinion.