You are bringing home baby and you are braced for the "big adjustment." You spend tons of time and energy focusing on big brother or sister so they don't feel left out and you make sure to include them in all new baby tasks. "Do you want to help mommy change baby's diaper?" "Do you want to hold baby?" You get the idea. Both times I brought home a new sibling this was me. I was always braced for a difficult adjustment and it never came. That is, not until a year later.
I am certain having mine so close together is largely the cause, but both times I brought home baby it was smooth sailing. However, as the baby grew and approached his first birthday I started noticing a change. Once the baby can walk and fully contend for toys and attention the competition always sets in.
Lately, Patrick has turned 11 months and I have been struggling with Jake being gentle and sharing with baby brother. I am beginning to worry that Patrick will grow up to think his name is "No Patrick" because that is the first and only thing Jake says to him. I have to admit it has been an bit funny to watch. As Patrick becomes more accustomed to this treatment he is developing a strong will and some seriously thick skin. I was the youngest of three and watching this dynamic it is no wonder I am stubborn as a mule. Patrick (my sweet 11 month old) now yells louder than a 6 year old and has recently tried to head-butt his big brother. Seriously, this is not good!
I can talk about this all now with some humor because things are really improving. I know that there is no instant fix for this. We are three weeks in to "Operation Crack Down" and I can already see bluer skies. It is taking LOTS of love, even more patience, and consistent reinforcement. The reward came this morning while cooking breakfast. I looked up ready to leap across the room as Patrick approached Jake's toy truck and I heard, "Here you go Patrick." Jake had actually handed little brother his favorite truck! I took a breath, smiled and... Patrick proceeded to drive said truck into Jake's head! What will I do with these boys?
How could this sweet face be the cause of any problems... right?
Ahhhh... holding hands on our bike ride. I couldn't miss this one.