Before Baby Z was born, I was worried that Nic would be rough with him out of jealousy. It turns out that I need to be more wary of kisses and tickles.
Since we brought Baby Z home, our rule has been that Nic can kiss his head and tickle his toes, but that all other touching is pretty much off limits. As you can guess, he tries to push the boundaries on this in every way possible. He gives a gentle kiss on the head, followed by one where he presses his face so hard to the top of baby’s head that I think he’s going to break his own nose. His toe tickles turn in to toe squeezes. And he tries to sneak in the occasional kiss on the mouth or face stroke.
It’s hard for me to reprimand him for showing his brother love, but I know I need to keep Baby Z safe. For the most part, Nic is very sweet with Z—bringing him toys, singing him songs—so I let the occasional full-body-hug slide. As Z is becoming more alert, I’ve also noticed which of Nic’s behaviors he enjoys and which seem to scare him. I’m going to try to follow Baby Z’s cues more and more to find out what kind of physical contact I should allow. In the meantime, I love watching Nic dangle toys in front of Z while Z smiles back with a huge grin. I can tell Nic loves it too--he jumps up and down and says, “Baby is smiling at me!”