When Kaitlyn first came home from the hospital Nathan was pretty good with her. He would hug her and say “hi baby” and all those nice little things an older sibling sometimes does. He acted out in other ways, by throwing tantrums, or being general difficult, or not sleeping, but he never acted nasty to the baby. Now everything has changed. Ever since Kaitlyn started being able to roll over a few months ago Nathan has become increasingly jealous of her. Now that she is crawling it’s full out war. Nathan vs. Kaitlyn. The problem is Kate has no idea there’s a battle going on. She’s so pumped about being able to crawl over and hang out with her big brother putting her directly in harm’s way most of the time.
Don and I have been waging our own war of attrition against Nathan’s bad behavior towards the baby. We give timeouts and take things away when he’s nasty to her. He says he’s sorry and hugs her after he does something inappropriate. He will even tell us “you don’t hit the baby!” The problem is none of it really sticks and it inevitably devolves into a yelling/hitting situation again a few hours later.
Now don’t get me wrong I knew this was coming. I have a brother three years younger than me and we fought like feral animals until I moved out of the house. For years he wanted to do what I was doing and I wanted nothing to do with his face. We didn’t really start getting along until I moved out. The plus side is I only have to deal with this shit for like another 15 years. Awesome. Hopefully the baby will not have a permanent imprint of a Matchbox car in her head before then. Then again if she really digs Matchbox cars too it could be like a free tattoo.
When Nate isn’t being a Tasmanian devil who’s sole mission is destruction, he is actually awe-inspiring at this age. He picks up new words and phrases daily. He tells me “I don’t know” when I ask a question he legitimately doesn’t know the answer to. He sat on my lap yesterday for 30 minutes picking out sheets on Amazon for his big boy bed that is coming in a few weeks (hold me or send Whiskey).
The most thrilling of these new developments is his after nap behavior on the weekends. When he wakes up he wants to crawl into my lap and watch me play a video game. He will sit there for no less than an hour and ask me which people are bad guys and tell me to be quiet when I’m sneaking around. It’s fantastic. It gives us that little bit of bonding time that we sorely need. Quiet moments like these where I can share things I enjoy with him help to offset my frustration with him when he does something terrible to the baby. It’s ridiculous how in the span of 90 minutes he can go from being a monster to one of the most adorable humans on the planet.
I think I’ll feel a little better about all of this when the baby is upright and capable of fighting back. Right now I just feel anxious that he’s going to actually hurt her which means one of my children has to come with me everywhere. I’m convinced I will never pee in peace again. Any of you folks have epic sibling rivalries as kids? Did everyone make it out without too many permanent scars?