My husband and I are only children. Two peas in a pod, if you will, who have been blessed with two beautiful kids. So now that I am in way over my head gracefully raising two children, SIBLINGS, who hopefully will never have to know what it’s like to be an only child, I have started pondering and wishing that I could find advice or guidance in this department. I can google and instantly find mountains of advice on breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, baby wearing, feeding, diapering, clothing, travel, sleep training, etc., but sibling relationships, especially when children are young, not. so. much… I mean c’mon, doesn’t everyone have an opinion online these days?
Below are my
not so completely normal (and true) thoughts on and daily life adventures with young siblings:
My oldest, who is just shy of four, definitely has a love/hate relationship with my youngest, her little brother, who is 18-months. At the grocery store just this past Monday, my conversation with my kids, while they were strapped into the toy race car in front of the cart, went exactly like this:
Me: “Quit squeezing your brother’s head! Please, I beg of you, it hurts him. Heads are not meant to be squeezed like that!!!!!”
Three-year-old daughter: “But momma, they are love squeezes. He’s my favorite.”
Baby (does not talk yet): **cracking up hysterically and pulling her hair after I break up the head lock situation on aisle 3**
Three-year-old daughter: **Now hysterically crying** “He’s so mean. Stop it baby brother!”
This is a cycle, every day. This is love/hate at it’s finest.
Right now it’s no issue, as they’re in separate rooms and one is still in a crib and doesn’t climb out yet. But as they get older, I wonder, will they keep each other awake? Will they want to have little sleepovers?
Can we PLEASE discuss toys. The sharing, or lack thereof I should say. I mean, how do you explain to your three-year-old that the green bear is her brother’s toy, when he just wants to play with her new pink bouncy ball (which coincidentally, I think was brought as a bribe to stop squeezing his head in the grocery cart)? Is everything just up for grabs? I think community toys are the way to go. I mean, seriously, the Elsa doll that my daughter got last year for her birthday has definitely gotten her $30 worth in our house, as both kids (and I am fairly certain the dog) have all played with her at some point this year.
I could probably write an entire blog post on birthday party etiquette, as I’ve seen it all – or maybe I haven’t quite yet, I don’t know! But if you give one kid a certain birthday party, does the other one need the same? Or is this second child syndrome a real thing? Like my oldest gets the fancy party, complete with unicorns, gold plated cupcakes, and fairy dust. Can the baby get a slice of cake and pizza for his second birthday in a few months? Or is it unicorns and fairy dust for all?
Other Random Thoughts
When my husband and I want a weekend away, is it okay to split them up among friends and family or will they be utterly traumatized for the next two years that they didn’t have their sibling next to them? We are planning a trip to California for a wedding and I hate the idea of splitting them up, but it could be logistically easier. It’s also an easier sell when you ask a friend or family member to take one child vs two.
What about cooking? If one loves corn and the other loves carrots, do I just make green beans? (Just kidding, my kids aren’t quite eating many greens, yet!) Or do we just move on to wine ice cream, so everyone is a winner?
These are the thoughts that consume me and it’s hard to ask friends and family who have siblings and maybe have a hard time understanding our point of view. To us, my husband and I are learning every single day how to raise multiple children, with grace.
I just hope the head squeezing stops soon, so that I can quit
yelling parenting in the middle of aisle 3…