I have been told that if when you have a second child, you should prepare a gift for your elder child as a ‘meeting gift’ (见面礼) so that the elder child won’t be jealous of the younger one.
I was a little skeptical how well the trick would work.. I mean, kids these days are so clever, would they really believe that the gift is from the baby?? But then, no harm trying..
But as usual, I procrastinate. So when MY decided to pop out almost a whole month before his EDD, I hadn’t prepared any gift for MF yet!
When MF came to the hospital to visit me right after MY was born, everyone started asking him, “Where is didi (younger brother)?” MF refused to look at the baby or answer anyone.. He was sulky and grouchy all afternoon.. I was so heartbroken and wondered if this is his reaction on day 1, what is going to become of my days from now on?
In the evening, my in-laws brought MF out for dinner and my bff came after work. Along the way, she helped to buy some presents for MF. When MF returned from dinner, he saw the presents, particularly the Angry Bird balloon, and was absolutely delighted!
We told him the presents were from didi. He didn’t seem to question that and started dancing around the room and playing with his new balloon.
When the nurse pushed MY in for feeding, the baby’s presence didn’t seem to bother him anymore. He continued playing happily and didn’t show any sign of jealousy as I nursed MY.
After I was done nursing, we asked MF where is didi and he came over to see the baby.. What a difference from the afternoon! He even cooperatively climbed onto the bed to take a family photo!
And while the photo was being taken, he actually reached over to stroke didi’s head! Awww….
So the meeting gift trick does work! I guess whether or not he really believed the gifts were from didi is not important.. What’s important was that he felt attention was being shown to him even after didi is born, compared to when everyone was fussing over didi and asking him about didi.. First lesson for me as mummy of two!