One day in July, my boys could not stay away from each other all. The toddler was constantly after the preschooler to play with him and then, as is the horror of every mother of boys, they began wrestling. Why not? They do it with Daddy, why not each other? Thus began a new era in our lives. Our siblings can be best friends at time, and they always wonder where the other is when one is missing, or they can act like bitter enemies.
The toddler has always been one to want a lot of attention; the preschooler has always played solo. The toddler wants to be grown up; the preschooler wants the attention the baby gets. The toddler fights dirty; the preschooler cannot understand why kidney punches are then not fair.
The baby has taken 21 1/2 months of pent up frustration out on his brother these past weeks. He is also dangerously close to two. Tantrums, thankfully short-lived, are always lurking near the surface and triggers are becoming more and more common. The older is learning this but sometimes deliberately provokes the younger; the younger loses it and begins hitting repeatedly or throwing the nearest object he can find; the older child's repsonse is then to tattle, having never really dealt with sibling issues (and truthfully, he has never been one to defend himself too vigorously).
For 18 months we lived in relative peace, the kids having little to do with each other. Suddenly, they like the same things and as they try to learn to play with one another it seems that we will end up with many bruises and tears. And that is just Scienceteachermommy!
Today, Waterboy (my hubby), had to take ALL of the trains away from the pair because of the incessant fighting. For those of you that know us you will probably say the train removal is more punishing to the parents than the children. Still, something had to be done.
I can hear the laughter from all you mothers of many out there. It serves us right after all the years in the blissful la-la land of one child, but I have to honestly say HELP!!!!!!!!!!!! Any suggestions for encouraging sibling harmony would be welcome.