The first thing people asked me when I was pregnant with Everett was usually, "How are you feeling?" With this baby it's been, "How is Everett feeling?" with Concerned Face, and someone even phrased it, "Is he ready to have his nose knocked out of joint when that baby comes?"
Everett knows about the baby on the way, knows the baby is coming after Santa Claus, calls him by name already (but also calls his own belly by the baby's name, as in "my _______ is hurting"), and vaguely understands that there will be sharing involved (of both things and special people).
He also has a pretty firm grasp of how babies get here since Mike tells him "Five Stories" before bed each night (five is Everett's way of saying a lot; it's really only two): one about how my friends drove up from Alabama to see us this summer and one about the night he was born. Mike tells Everett that he grew and grew over a long time and finally got too big for my belly, so I pushed him out at the hospital and everyone was so happy to finally see him.
He knew all this as we trouped out last week for his big brother class at the hospital. Our neighbor was standing in her backyard minding her own business, so naturally Everett yelled over the fence to her that HE WAS GOING TO BE A BIG BROTHER RIGHT NOW MOMMY IT'S NOT GOING TO HURT (I think he picked this up from Daniel Tiger and some association of doctors and hospitals). She was a little startled, probably thinking there was some too-early labor going on. But don't worry, Everett explained it all (sometimes we just stand there while they have really long conversations with each other over that fence).
In class, he learned to diaper and swaddle the baby. Other kids let their baby dolls drop to the floor when it was snack time, but not Everett--oh no, he tucked that lucky baby under one arm and ate his granola and sipped his juice with the other. They talked about not picking up the baby when adults aren't around and looking out for "danger" on the floor by keeping toys picked up. We went upstairs to "where mommies stay when babies come" and got to see a real baby up close--the highlight of our night: toddlers were stroking out from the excitement.
I'm expecting it to be an adjustment, just like any major change our family might go through. I imagine some crying and feeling left out and lots of getting out of bed to see what everyone else is doing. But I think he'll also really enjoy having another person in our family. For now, our biggest challenge is just his impatience--when we got home from class, he tried to "push" the baby out with his own two hands because "he's big enough now."
Any tips for us on bringing a second baby home and making it a good transition for older siblings?