I wanted to write about a specific even that happened about a week after I brought my youngest son home from the hospital. I have been dealing with sibling rivalry for almost six years but this one occurance stands out in my head.
My son, Kyle, who was two at the time, was so excited about having a new baby brother and for nine long months he eagerly awaited his arrival. When Johnny was born my mom brought Kyle to the hospital to meet his new brother. For the first visit he proudly showed off his new t-shirt that said I’m The Big Brother across his chest. Fro hours he posed for pictures and cuddled with Johnny. Kyle showed no signs of jelousy.
The next few days following mine and Johnny’s home-coming were chaotic. Johnny was colicky and cried 24/7! Kyle didn’t seem to be bothered by his little brother waking him up all night every night. He even did his best to help calm him down. He was a big helper, bringing the baby his toys or helping me feed him his bottle. I thought he had adjusted great to sharing his mom with a new baby.
Well, one day Johnny was in his baby seat screaming for his bottle. Kyle was sitting on the couch watching one of his shows while I ran into the kitched to warm up a bottle. About a minute later I realized I could no longer hear Johnny crying. I quickly grabbed the bottle and ran into the living room to find Kyle standing over Johnny with a plastic, toy golf club held in the air. Before I could reach him him brought down one more time hitting Johnny in the face! Johnny was screaming so hard that no noise was coming out!
I scooped the baby up and tried to soothe him and as calmly as I could asked my two-year old why he had done that to his baby brother. He started crying and said he didn’t know and then gave his brother a kiss on the head.
Although nothing this drastic has happened again I just wanted to point out that, in my case, sibling rivalry started almost immediately. Everyday is a challenge with my boys. They hit each other, they take each other’s toys, they call each other names, they fight for my attention, they even have the nerve to look at each other!!! And I am sure this will continue well into their adult years so I’ve learned to somewhat deal with it. In another couple of years I expect that their fighting over “petty” things will escalate to fighting over ‘serious” things like girls and clothes and who is cooler, taller and stronger! So I’ll just deal with these different staged as they come and maybe by the time they are in their twenties I’ll be able to write a book about sibling rivalry!