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  • Gareth Ellis

Book Review: There’s Two of Us Now

Jess and I love reading to our children.

Rupert has a story or two before he goes down for a nap, and two more (sometimes the same two) when it’s time to sleep for the night. With Emilia it’s hard to hold her concentration for that long but still, you’re never too young to be read to.

Our beautiful boy, Rupert, arrived in November 2018 and when his sister, Emilia, arrived in May of this year we wondered how he would not only take to being a big brother but how he would adapt to having to share our time.

I was recently asked to review a book, written by a talented old school friend of mine on exactly that subject, how parents deal with explaining to an older sibling that there’s literally a new kid on the block.

Entitled ‘There’s Two of Us Now’ it tells the story of a newly crowned big brother who is taken out on a bike ride by his Daddy, so Mummy can be at home with the baby and the new arrival can get some peace and quiet.

The bike ride rolls through an amazing world of the child’s imagination as he’s transported to a world filled with alien robots and dinosaurs as they race through deserts and different time periods.

He gets out and about and free of the rules that come with having to be quiet or be gentle with a tiny baby in their previously unbothered space.

The other aspect, which I think is a cute and unique one, is that the book is designed in black and white, accompanied by a set of crayons. It gives children a chance to fill those moments where Mummy and Daddy are busy with the new baby with creativity and play.

One of the best lines in the book is ‘I can just be myself, whatever I’m feeling.’ I often worried about how Rupert would react to sharing us with his sister after she arrived. Would he act out? Would he take it all in his stride? Would he be himself around her, without worrying that he was upsetting her, us or both. Being a child means being able to express yourself and you never think that could potentially be stifled with the arrival of a new baby.

For Rupert, at two, it’s a book he’ll grow into. He absolutely loved the story and sat perfectly while he read it to him, but I’m not sure he would have grasped the concept – to be fair he’s already a brilliant big brother.

For parents looking for a way to explain this latest life development to a little one, this is definitely a great tool.

Life is tough for little ones. Mummy and Daddy make you eat vegetables, they tell you to brush your teeth and you can’t eat all the chocolate you want while watching telly all day long.

So why not make a potentially stressful situation a lot easier, and help your children keep hold of that spark of creativity, even if it means them colouring the baby in green and yellow.

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