I will precursor this post by saying Felix is Imogens biggest fan. He thinks she’s wonderful, boasts about her at nursery and includes her in his games calling her R2D2 (an honour I’m sure). However learning to share his parents is a hard lesson for any 4 year old boy when a new sibling comes along. Felix is no exception, after nearly 4 years of having me to himself a sibling was always going to present challenges. Unfortunately, a sister with complex health needs and development delays had only increased those challenges ten fold.
Picture the scene, bath time for both kids. A pre-bedtime routine for Felix for as long as I can remember and a nearly 8 month old baby who I would have expected by now would be sitting up, splashing with him, laughing at his antics and making bath times chaotic but fun. This is where the delays are painfully brought home to me. Immy still relies on a reclined bath seat , doesn’t respond to Felix really at all and is certainly no where near playing with him, although she is blissfully happy in the water. Tonight I was flying solo for bath and bed time as Matt was working late and Immy vomitted in the bath (projectile vomits are a daily part of her reflux). Felix jumps out, I get Immy out and she proceeds to vomit over herself and her bedtime clothes and various towels while Felix tries to question me about his bedtime story that I evidently can’t read to him right now. It ended with me reading his story down stairs as a ‘treat’ whilst cuddling a crying Imogen. It’s times like this where I feel like both kids are getting less then they deserve.
It’s like taking care of Immy, feeding her, managing her appointment’s, chasing referrals, getting her the best therapies available and implementing them takes every last ounce of my energy physically and emotionally, and yet I have a 4 year old who needs attention, interaction and stimulation on an almost permenant basis at the moment. The mum moto’s such as “this too shall pass” just don’t hold much promise when you really don’t know when or what your baby will be able to do or what age she might developmently reach.
It’s heartbreakingly tough, and it’s undoubtably tough on Felix and that is perhaps the hardest thing of all.