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Deciding to have number two child - Autism Chapter 15

Tuesday, 1 November 2016  | 

Big Sister

If there is one way in which child Number One has exceeded all my expectations then it has been her ability to be a thoroughly amazing big sister.

Now firstly I have to admit she has spent much of the last three years nagging me for a sibling. She was well and truly fed up of being an only child. It wasn’t fair, she declared, EVERYONE else had a brother or sister to play with.

But wanting and having are two very different things, especially when you are eight, like your life to be organised and hate it when just about anything changes. And as everyone who’s ever had a newborn knows, those first few weeks are fraught with about as much chaos and change as it’s possible to find. So although it was vey much something she wanted I was more than a little worried about how she would react once Number Two actually arrived.

I needn’t have worried. She has excelled. From being woken in the middle of the night and shipped off to her aunt’s when my water’s broke, to an impromptu three day trip to Grandma’s when Number Two ended up with jaundice, to meeting new people at baby swimming sessions – I could not have asked for more from her.

What’s more, Number One (like many girls with Autism) is an excellent mimic. I know with absoloute certainty that she will copy my games with Number Two verbatim; from how she holds him to how she talks to him she’s like an echo. Friends are consistently amazed with how wonderful and ‘grown up’ she is with him.

Number Two, in typical younger sibling form worships her already, giving her by far the biggest smiles and it’s adoration well deserved. They are in fact a mutual admiration society.

It was a scary decision going for Number Two, if I’m honest I wasn’t sure Number One would cope – at least initially. Eight years is a long time to have the world revolve around you, to then learn to share the limelight. But sometimes shared limelight is twice as bright and twice as happy. If I have any regrets, it’s only that if I’d known how wonderful it would be, I might have done it earlier.

Of course, I should add in a caveat that he is not yet mobile, and therefore her Lego models are still in tact. That could be a whole other story….