A lot of folks ask if Hope enjoys being a big sister. We think she might.
The first day back from the hospital, I had Oscar in my lap. Hope scampered up and reached toward Oscar. My heart began to melt. She reached farther and farther toward his head. "Get the camera, Mo," I whispered, certain that Hope was responding to her biological wiring to pat the head of her little brother.
Hope inched farther still across my knee. My heart thump-a-lumped. She got closer still. My mind raced with ooey-gooey thoughts, daydreaming in fast-forward that my life from now on would be filled with sticky-sweet confectionary moments like these.
Hope's little hand almost snatched Oscar's pacifier from his mouth before I got wise.
It was a lot like that for the first few weeks. We tried to force bonding moments. Hope seemed vaguely interested that we brought home a new receptacle for binkies and bottles. She seemed to think Oscar was OK but no more so than a wooden peg or her necklace of milk jug caps.
Since then, Hope is far more cognizant of the 12-pound kid than the 90-pound dog she's spent a lifetime ignoring. When she thinks we're paying too much attention to Ozzie, Hope grabs our knees, sticks her head in our face and whines. She had a rough couple weeks with frequent crying spells that could have been attributable to sibling rivalry, the arrival of her last two molars or something else.
But she's warming to him as well. She seems to like Oscar, but quite as much as her cat, Jack. Hope pats his head. She looks at him lovingly. She gets a big smile whenever he wails in agony. We like to think it's a smile of "I've got your back, kid" rather than one of sheer sadism, but you never know.