Comments Of A Distracted Mind: Baby, Fur Babies And Bonding

Comments Of A Distracted Mind: Baby, Fur Babies And BondingAs any parent will tell you, bringing home baby for the first time can be nerve-wracking. The post-delivery exhaustion combined with the stress of suddenly being responsible for a tiny, helpless, bundle of joy creates a perfect storm of emotions. For Kevin and I, bringing Emma home had the added complication of an introduction to two very spoiled, very needy, very stubborn fur-babies. (My fault completely- Darla and Rufus have been spoiled from the moment they came to live with me and no attempt by Kevin to curb their behaviour has been successful to date-mostly because he has been unable to retrain my responses to their demands.)  
 When we arrived home with Emma, Kevin and I were greeted by Rufus, who promptly turned her nose up at Emma’s car carrier and proceeded to ignore “the intruder” while she received some much wanted attention. Darla was nowhere to be seen (of course she is also twelve, and I suspect is hard of hearing rather than simply selective of what she hears).  As we settled Emma in and started to get unpacked Rufus continued on her merry way as though nothing had changed, although she gave the cradle a bit of a snide look on the way by. We did not see Darla until later that night; Emma and I were on the bed having a bottle when I heard nails clicking across the living room floor and a strange sound that was more of a “meep” than “meow”. Darla had realized we were home and, I suspect, was berating me for not coming to find her, or for leaving her in the first place. She made it to the bedroom door before Emma made a sound, at which point Darla promptly turned tail and retreated back to “her” chair in the den, where she remained with the exception of feeding time for the next several days. She refused to condescend to cuddle or snuggle with me for several days and remained out of sorts for a couple of weeks.  Rufus simply ignored Emma and acted as though nothing had changed.
 Fortunately, we have since found a new normal and the fur-babies have accepted our new baby into the family. Rufus enjoys sitting on the back of the couch while Emma has her bottle and will often join her on a blanket or the bed. The only draw back is Rufus does not understand that Emma is not a new source of attention and I have had to stop the cat from patting the baby’s face when she is looking for a snuggle.  Darla still spends a lot of time in her chair, but she also likes to sit beside us on the couch. On several occasions she has given the bottle a friendly “head-butt” as she settles in beside us.  I am one happy mama as all my babies are content and well on their way to being friends.