He's been the baby for so long, I somehow missed how very big he was getting.
For 20 months, we've called him our "Yacobaby" and made a clear distinction between Jacob and "the big kids." But then this real baby arrived on the scene, and suddenly our Yacobaby is one of the big kids.
And he's totally digging this new big brother thing.
"Bay-bee!" he exclaims every time he catches sight of his little brother. Sometimes it's more of a question, like when he's eating breakfast and Levi's upstairs asleep. "Bay-bee?" he wonders aloud, looking around for his new little buddy.
The other day he sidled up next to me on the couch. Levi had just finished eating, and was laying across my lap, sound asleep in a milk coma.
"Bay-bee?" Jacob asked, patting his little one-year-old hands on his knees. "Bay-bee!"
"Do you want to hold the baby?" I asked him.
He nodded enthusiastically. "Da! Bay-bee! Peas!" he replied (which translates to "Yes mommy, I'd love to hold that baby, please.").
I gave him the requisite instructions about supporting the baby's head before placing my 9-day-old gently in the arms of my not-quite-2-year-old. Levi slept comfortably in Jacob's arms, totally unfazed by his precarious position. Jacob gently supported his little brother's head in his right hand while patting his belly softly with his left.
Surprised by his mature show of tenderness, I removed my hand to see what Jacob would do. He pulled Levi in a little tighter to his chest. "Bay-bee," he said softly, his eyes locked on Levi's face. He looked up at me and pursed his lips. "Shhhhh," he instructed me, raising a finger to his lips.
After about a minute, I tried to transfer Levi back into my own arms.
"No!" Jacob insisted, shaking his head. I asked if he wanted to keep holding the baby, and he nodded.
For almost 10 minutes I sat there and watched my baby holding my baby, and thought about the fun these two are going to have together.
"Can you say 'Levi'?" I asked Jacob.
"Wuh-vee!" came his enthusiastic reply.
I tried again: "Say 'Lee-vi.'"
"Wuh-vee!" he shouted this time.
Wuhvee it is then. Something tells me this nickname's going to stick.