...because we all have our motley moments!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brotherly Love

I had a "moment" right after Micah was born. He was about 5 days old and my parents were here and someone (Todd, my dad, my mom, I don't remember) told me to go to bed early and they would wake me up when Micah needed to nurse again. I was utterly exhausted. As soon as I got to bed I heard Ethan crying so I went in to check on him. He just needed attention, so we rocked for a while and I got really sad, thinking that his whole identity had just changed, that now he had to share his parents, his mother especially. This thought, along with exhaustion and postpartum hormones, set me to bawling.
I am an only child and I don't entirely understand the sibling dynamic, but from my observations of others, I have decided that having siblings is a character-building exercise. I also think it can be a lot of fun and comfort. I am glad my boys have each other, even though they fight more and more every day. Sometimes I don't know how to handle the fighting. Ethan is older and bigger so I find myself getting on to him more than I do Micah. Although, sometimes Micah just needs to leave him alone and stop taking his toys, Kitty, drink, spoon, breakfast, etc. Most of the sources I've read say that most of the time I should stay out of it and let them figure it out on their own, so I've been doing that more since Micah has gotten bigger and older and more able to defend himself.
I want my boys to be buddies. I want them to love each other and be close. I know they won't always get along and there might be years where all they do is argue, but my prayer is that they will grow into lifelong friends. For now, though, I'll share with you a story that gives me comfort.
The other night Micah hit Ethan square in the face with a shovel. I could tell it hurt and so could Todd, so he took Micah and put him in the Pack'n Play for his first official time-out. We even set the microwave timer (1 minute because he's 1 year old). He was crushed. He cried that "hurt feelings" cry for the entire minute. What was funny was that Ethan was pretty ticked off when Micah hit him, but when Daddy put Micah in time-out, he freaked. He started bawling, too. "My baby! My baby!" "It's okay, honey. Micah made a bad choice so Daddy put him in time-out." "My baby! I want my baby!" Todd had to pick him up and hold him for the duration of Micah's time-out. Later, when Ethan was put in time-out, Micah walked over to him and gave him a hug. They just stood there and held each other for a while.
Like I said, this incident made me feel better about my boys' relationship. I know most of you have siblings. Any advice or funny stories you can share?


Bryssy said...

What a topic. I know when I was a kid, nobody could be mean to my little sister but me. I would defend her endlessly, and then whoop up when we got home. We officially stopped fighting when she learned to hit me hard enough to hurt me.

The "Siblings Without Rivalry" book is just awesome. It has really helped me with our kids and it's practical to use for kids of any age. It's by the same authors as "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, How to Listen So Kids Will Talk."

Liz said...

I've watched some DVDs of "How to Talk"...it was hokey, but good information. Thanks for the book suggestion!

Donna said...

My two keep asking me to have another baby so they can hold it and help take care of it. It's really making our decision NOT to have more kids really tough to handle! They are both really good to each other most of the time and I know they would LOVE to have a baby brother or sister. But at some point, you have to stop having babies for the baby to hold, right? I tried explaining this to KID 1, but he still really wants a baby!

Liz said...

Fortunately, mine have expressed no interest in making our family any larger. :)

Pam said...

I love the time out stories - how sweet! Whenever I think about having another child, I often worry most about what it would do to/for Alex. Thanks for sharing!

Karly said...

I felt the same when my second child was born. But now that my boys are 3 and 5, they are best buddies and love to play together. It's so nice to have a built in playmate. And now our 1 year old daughter is right in the mix. It is so fun to watch them laugh and play together.

And yes, there are lots of opportunities for character development. Siblings are great for that!

Adventures of a Teenagers Mom said...

Only story: Keep all SHARP objects out of their reach. My brother used to run after me with knives, lock me in my bedroom and would not let me out. It's the same brother that bought me a bear with all his money when I had to go into the hospital. If it makes you feel any better, after all that I still love him, well...sometimes.

Liz said...

LOL Alicia!