The other morning, the girls had Evangeline in my room. They were watching the baby while I got some housework mostly complete. It was uncharacteristically quiet.
I shouted out a couple of “Are you guys ok, in there’s“, and every time I got a resounding unison, “WE’RE FINE!“…So I let it go. I wasn’t prepared for the site that greeted me when I walked in the room.
Welcome to Evangeline Land!
Raven and Lenore had covered our bed with every one of Evangeline’s toys. Every one. They had drawn a line down the center of the bed with yarn. Toys were situated on either side, and the baby was placed in the middle. The object of the game was to coax Evangeline to their side by singing, dancing, or entertaining her with the toys. She loved it.
I think Lenore officially won the game, but clearly Evangeline is the real winner here.
When Evangeline was a newborn her three siblings fought over who was allowed to hold her. They fought for diaper changes, bottle feeds and snuggle time. We were sure once the ‘newness’ wore off this interest would fade, but it didn’t. My son Alex still makes Evangeline a priority every morning before he leaves for high school, and there are plenty of puppet shows, blanket forts and baby book readings spread out among all three of them. They keep a rotating schedule for who gets to hold her during Church.
I’m relieved because there is plenty of in-house fighting among themselves. Both Alex and Raven (the teenagers) snap at each other like baby turtles over random teen crap, and you can bet Lenore has mastered the art of being a pesky little sister. I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to paint some rosy glow over my family. They fight like any other normal siblings.
But the great unifier of a 15, 13, and 9 yr. old in this house is Evangeline. She is one lucky baby. She may not have a lot of toys…(and she doesn’t–most of what is pictured are hand-me-down animals from her sisters), but that’s ok. I used to worry because we could not afford as many baby toys this time around. It just didn’t seem fair compared to what the other kids had when they were younger.
But Evangeline has something far more valuable than cute baby toys (although I admit sometimes I wish we could buy more). She has the love and protection of not one, but three older siblings who adore her. No matter the time, place and circumstance, these kids are dedicated to ensuring that everywhere is “Evangeline Land” for their baby sister.
All babies should be this lucky.