Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are we going to the hospital?

Every time we get in the car, Baby J asks (excitedly!) if we are going to the hospital. This happened yesterday when he and I were on our way to shop for Husband's birthday. Baby J was disappointed when I told him we were going to the mall. When we got there, though, he got excited again and told me we were at the hospital (pronounced as hops-ti-tal in his world.) he thinks all large, square-ish structures are hospitals or doctors' offices.

This is just one example of the ways  that Baby J, a "typically" developing child, is affected by having a sibling with special needs.

We spend so much time in therapy and at Dr. appointments at Children's for Bean that it has become Baby J's world. He's 3-years old but can name his brother's doctors and tell you who his favorites are. He gets excited to see Bean's therapists and cries when they leave.

Baby J is still so young. I worry that a (hopefully brief) time will come that he will resent his brother for all the attention he receives.

Husband and I try hard to do things with Baby J to broaden his world. He did a preschool preparedness class last year. We go to the playground frequently. We're going to the beach next month. We try to get him around peers as much as possible. We make it a point to take him out for one-on-one time and plan special activities at home for him. Still, there's a twinge of guilt when I realize how much his life is affected by his brother's needs. And then I feel guilty for feeling guilty...

I don't know what the answer is, if there even is an answer. I guess it, like everything else, is about finding balance.  For now, I am just grateful that he is finding fun in all of the activities that we do with Bean and that he actually gets excited about going to the hospital - since we spend so much time there. 

At least after yesterday, I'm pretty sure that he knows what the mall is now and he knows he likes it. I'm in trouble!


  1. This blog-hop thing is awesome. Your kids are adorable!

    I've been on both ends of the spectrum of being the special needs kid and being the sibling of the special needs kid. I eventually realized that there are times when I won't be the center of my parent's attention and there would be times when I would. I have never resented my parents or my sibling for taking attention away from me.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and for your insight! I'm sure that I'm doing a lot of worrying for nothing. That's what I do...worry ;)

  3. Your kids are so cute! I think this type of feeling goes with non special needs siblings too. I worry a lot about how my two year old sucks up all my time and I do not spend as much time with my older daughter. It all seems to work out though. Kids know when you love them special needs or not. :-)

  4. Max does the same thing...asks if we are going to the hospital...or he plays Maddie' surgeon...not sure if I am comfortable with this...but have learned to deal with it...it is now our "normal"! smiles

  5. Hi there, I found you through the blog hop. My daughter is now 17 and I ahve two older sons who went through much of what you are describing with Baby J. We never had any jealousy issues at all. The kids live whatever is normal for them. It is perfectly normal for J to have a disabled brother. It's the only reality he knows. I believe my sons grew up to be far more senstive and considerate as a result of having Maggie as their sister.

  6. Thanks so much for all of these kind words. Your comments really have made me feel better!

  7. I get your point... but from my vantage point (yeah, way over here), it seems to me that your Baby J is an excellent big brother. Very sweet and engaged.