My kids make me want to cry
..and not in some sweet after school touching moment kind of way.
The princess was 6.5 when Littlebit was born. Well, more like 6 years and 7 months, but who’s counting. In some ways, having a much older sibling is really a blessing. The Princess could be trusted with watching Littlebit while I took a shower. She was big enough to help. She was big enough to reliably fetch things or do small tasks. She was willing, sometimes, to play with Littlebit and on warm afternoons could be trusted to take her into our backyard to play with the neighbor boy and his little brother.
The Princess is capable of showing amazing love to Littlebit. That’s true. When Littlebit was about nine months old we really struggled with sleep issues (well, in honest sleep issues have been a 2.5 year struggle with Littlebit and this time I am counting). One night, the Princess asked to take a turn rubbing Littlebit’s back in her bed and trying to sing her to sleep. She came down in tears, overwhelmed by the love of caring for someone so small. Seriously.
But, there are things that I really didn’t expect and that is the INTENSE SIBLING RIVALRY. I really thought that 6.5 years of age difference that siblings rivalry would be limited to occasional bad toddler behavior and occasional big kid annoyance at the toddler’s lack of boundaries. Well, in truth both of those things DO happen, but they’re blips on the radar compared to the sibling
rivalry throw downs that go on around here.
(they look peaceful, but in truth, a throw down is about to happen because Littlebit “messed up” the Princess’s beach writing. Yes, really).
In the last 2.5 years I have not been able to express to the Princess that throwing Littlebit a bone makes for a better experience. Not giving in. Not giving her her way no questions asked, no holds barred, but just realizing that Littlebit is small and she sees the world as a toddler. Last summer we had issues with the Princess’s “little pets”. The Princess wanted to play “little pets” in the middle of the living room and Littlebit WAS NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH.
For months, Big Daddy and I calmly explained how things worked. 1) Play upstairs where LIttlebit can’t get at your toys 2) throw Littlebit a damned bone, give her a pet and shut up about it. Neither of those scenarios worked, so the Princess would carrry down her pets and spend 45 minutes yelling at Littlebit who in turned screamed or cried or pulled hair. Or all three at once. The Princess isn’t dumb, but this handy lesson has never been learned. The funny thing is, if Littlebit is playing with something neat the Princess joins in without compunction and expects Littlebit to perfectly share. In 2.5 years, the Princess have never learned to throw the kid a bone for harmony. Maybe by year three? I’m not confident.
When they play together, it’s like music. Tucked into the rocking chair reading books, singing songs together at bed time, sharing, it’s great and I don’t understand why the happy fuzzy feelings don’t go beyond those fleeting moments or why it’s so hard to just, I don’t know, share, be nice, do unto others? That crap? Worse still, how will all of these increase when Baby Bee shows up??