One of the most frequent questions we're asked these days, right after, "How are you feeling?" and "How is he sleeping?" is, "How is Miss M handling things?" But the answer to this last question is even less predictable than the others.
Miss M loves her brother. Loves him dearly. And, if not restrained on a regular basis, might just love him to death. Given the option, her face would never be more than 1.8" from his, her hands would always be stroking as closely as possible to his soft spot, and her feet would be pressed up against his so she could "measure them up."
And it's quite obvious that she loves her parents, too, although the ways she chooses to demonstrate this can vary from spontaneous kisses to an insane, frenetic limb-flailing that has gotten her permanently banned from the couch during nursing sessions. We're trying to be sensitive to jealousy issues, reminding ourselves that her misbehavior is often a form of settling. Most three-year-olds understand that negative attention is better than no attention at all, and she's perfecting the art of attention-getting.
We've also finally figured out that this tiny girl requires a massive amount of physical activity to keep her on an even keel. If we try to have a calm, quiet morning of cartoons and cuddling, she makes it until about 10am before taking on the demeanor of a cracked-out ferret. The Admiral can usually keep up with her, since they are, by rights, his spastic genes. But with the recent addition to our household and subsequent loss of downtime, neither one of us can quite muster the energy required to drain her tank every single day.
So the short answer to the question is, she's doing her best. And so are we. We're all adjusting in our own ways, whether that means taking naps when the baby does or screaming at the top of our lungs inside a moving vehicle.
Postscript: speaking of moving vehicles, Mr. Baby went a little feral on the way home from the lake last night. After trying in vain to soothe him with our voices, we realized that he was only quiet when Miss M was talking. So she talked to him, telling him an elaborate story for as long as her exhausted little self could manage. And it worked. He stayed calm all the way up until she fell asleep in mid-sentence. And I caught just a glimpse of how they'll be in a few years, able to comfort and amuse each other (when they aren't driving each other crazier than cracked-out ferrets).