Posts Tagged ‘siblings’

Frenemies

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I had a fun weekend with the kiddos, when they weren’t driving me crazy! See, the thing about Haley and Hudson is that they are 100%, bona fide best friends. I’m talking besties. They want each other from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed at night. They are upset when they are apart. However, this does not mean they always get along.

Quite the opposite. Their physical and emotional closeness means that they are constantly on top of each other. Inevitably, they fight over toys, or who pushed whom, or who has the snack the other wants, etc. etc. Then come the tears and complaints, and the need for Mom to understand the grave injustice suffered. Finally, we get to the point where they completely forget why they were fighting in the first place and they are back together again.

Obviously, I’m so glad the kids are close. In the day-to-day, their antics frustrate me. But I know from my own experience it’s a bond that will last a lifetime. And that’s something that is very special.

Candy-gram

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. Over the weekend, the boys enjoyed writing out their valentine cards to exchange at school. They sat at their desk quietly and picked out an action hero card for each classmate. There was no bickering, just pencil tips writing away.  It was wonderful.

On Monday morning, I saw Jack shoving some coins into his backpack. I didn’t think much of it, because sometimes he likes to buy a pencil or eraser from the school store. The next day, Tate came home from school with a large grin on his face. Held in his hand was a candy-gram from his big brother. Jack surprised him with a sweet message and an attached lollipop at school. The school setup this fun little candy-gram booth for students to celebrate this week. Tate was very appreciative of his big brother’s gesture and gave him a big hug.

It’s times like these that I’m pleasantly surprised by my kids. I’m glad they have brotherly love for each other. In between the yelling and fighting, Jack and Tate can be so great at times like this. When they show they care about each other it makes me so happy.

Siblings don’t always get along, but it’s nice knowing they count on each other, protect each other from the “bad” guys and can hug each other from time to time. It reassures me that I’m doing something right in this crazy world of parenthood.

 

Sick and Company

Monday, September 19th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Poor Hudson has been struggling with a virus for the last few days. The main symptom is a fever and lot of crankiness. As all parents in this situation do, I really feel for him. Not only is he feeling crummy, but he also doesn’t yet have the ability to tell me exactly what’s bothering him. As a result, it’s a constant guessing game to keep him comfortable and somewhat content.

He hasn’t slept well the last few days, and neither have I! It’s so tiring caring for a sick toddler, not to mention their attention-seeking older siblings. Haley alternates between being a helpful nurse and a crazy instigator. Sometimes, I’ve just gotten Hudson to calm down when Haley comes screeching in, provoking Hudson and throwing the scene into complete chaos.

So we’ve been a little pitiful lately, but we’re trying to keep our spirits up. Illness happens in childhood, and you just have to roll with the punches. The light at the end of the tunnel is Hudson’s second birthday this weekend. Hopefully by then we’ll have two healthy children more than ready to relax and have fun.

No Charlotte!

Friday, September 16th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory is, on the whole, extremely helpful with his little sister.  He understands what she is asking and often translates for her.  He helps out during meal time.  He chats with her in the backseat.  And he tries to console her when She is sad.

Unfortunately, sometimes his “helpful” is more bossy than constructive.  Sometimes his stern tone can be helpful– like when he is convincing her to endure a diaper change or getting her to sit still to put her shoes on.  But other times his approach is outright loud and brings Charlotte to tears, like when he yells at her for chewing on toys or stealing his toys, or ignoring our requests.  In reality, she is awfully young for us to expect her to listen well all the time.  But Rory– ever the obedient one– takes great umbrage at Charlotte’s failure to listen.

I have tried to explain this to him in terms that he can understand, such as explaining that Charlotte is still working how to use her listening ears and doesn’t like it when we yell at her.  We have tried to demonstrate redirection for him so that he can do the same.  For example, he has  learned to provide her with substitute toys rather than simply steal his toys away.  He doesn’t always remember the techniques (he is only a kid himself, after all), but if we can keep the yelling and tears at a minimum, I am happy to call that a success.

 

Beyond Her Years

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Despite admitting that she feels badly drawing comparison’s, Charlotte’s new teacher (and Rory’s former one), cannot help but advise us on just how very different she is when compared to her brother at this age.  Both Rory and Charlotte moved up to the younger toddler classroom at daycare at eighteen months old, making them on the younger side of the age-range for that room.  With Rory, we wondered if he was ready, if he would stand up for him self, if he would be lost, and if he would be comfortable.  He was fine, of course, but we were fretful nonetheless. With Charlotte, we knew there was no holding her back.  She had aged out of her prior classroom months ago, and was thirsting for new and more challenging environs and discoveries.

And she is thriving.

Her teachers claim that she is wise beyond her years in just about everything she does:  the way she stands firmly in her wants and desires (to the point of being bullish and unmoving in her demands), the way she teases her classmates and teachers, her sense of humor, her independence, her manipulation of the little boys in her class, and the way she stands up for herself with fierce tenacity (despite coming in around the 25th percentile on height. . .).  In each instance, people who spend any amount of time around her consistently remark on how much personality is packed into her spunky little self.

Her teacher’s reflections on the topic this week were how surprising it is for her to see when compared to her brother’s far more measured and reserved personality.  As she explained it, Rory would have been in full blown tears in some of the circumstances Charlotte puts herself into.  She, on the other hand, just barrels right on through. And it is fascinating to see.  And we find it interesting to listen to the commentary as she settles in to her new environs. It’s fun to see things through another set of eyes as her teachers share their thoughts and perspectives on her “spunk.”

Sure, it makes life a bit more difficult at bedtime or breakfast when she’s not getting her way. But other times it is amazing to let her take the lead and see just how self sufficient she can be. I hope upon hope that she never loses that tenacity and vision.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

 

First Things First

Monday, July 11th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neeitka:
Haley and Hudson share a bedroom. Often, when they wake up in the morning, Haley will climb into Hudson’s crib. She calls him all of his favorite pet names, sings songs and recites nursery rhymes to help him ease into a fully awake state. Luckily, she usually waits to do this until he starts to rouse on this own. I watch all of this on my baby monitor. I appreciate being able to ease into wakefulness myself, and I love seeing them start their play bright and early. Soon, I’m up and I’m fetching Hudson his morning milk and Haley is telling a million stories and a new day has officially begun.

It’s great seeing their relationship develop over time. Each period in their lives is so unique not only because of their ages but also because of the time of year. Not only is it great that they’re on the precipice of true bonding, but it’s summertime and Haley’s not in a camp this year, so there’s no rushing around or the pressure of a routine to put a damper on it. I’m keenly aware that that won’t always be the case.

Our goodnight ritual is a bit more chaotic than our good morning one, but I’m grateful we still have our daily moment of calm and serenity. I have a feeling that once they are teenagers, it’s something I’ll pine for.

Roar Roar

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Charlotte has started calling for her brother when she first wakes up each morning.  A lot of mornings, I use getting Charlotte out of her crib as motivation to get Rory out of his bed (or out of our bed, or out of our bathroom) or to stop running around like a crazy person. . .

Now Charlotte seems to have caught on to our scheme and has one upped me by calling for him herself.  She has even perfected a “game” in which she gets “stuck” in her crib and only Rory can help her out.  And he LOVES it.

Their bond is pretty remarkable.  And it is also constantly evolving.  Sure, there is LOTS of yelling and tears when they steal each others’ toys, and sure, Rory has gotten smart to the fact that he can get a quick reaction from everyone if he steals her toys even more frequently.

But there are also plenty of tender moments.  Like yesterday morning when Rory asked if I would put Charlotte in his lap to let him help calm her down. And they say together on the couch quietly calming one another.  Rory ran his little hands through her hair and kissed the back of her head with a kind of care that took my breath away.

I know the gap between the highs and lows will keep growing as they grow older.  But am pretty sure I should pause and take the time to observe these quiet moments while I have them.

 

 

Library Books

Friday, June 24th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory and Charlotte’s daycare has a small “library” of books that the students are allowed to check out and take home with them each evening.  Throughout the year, Rory has occasionally selected a book to bring home with him.  Recently, however, this has become a more regular event.

His favorite books are the Lego Town early reader series, and the space shuttle book, in particular.  I’m pretty sure he brings that one home every other time.  But we’ve also learned about farming, the Berenstain bears, Winnie the Pooh, Snowbunny, and a number of other stories for young minds and pre-readers.

Rory gets very excited about reading his new book at bedtime, and is equally as excited to return it to the proper place on the shelves the following morning.  We’re doing our best to teach him how to be gentle when borrowing someone else’s belongings.  We’re also helping show him that we have to share the things that aren’t ours (even if that means he can’t bring the lego space shuttle book home EVERY night).

It’s a fun process to watch, and makes me realize we probably need to get him his very own actual library card sometime soon.  Perhaps we’ll put that on the weekend to-do list. . .

Gentle Touch

Friday, April 29th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
It really does seem as though there is a rash of toddler misbehavior plaguing our mommy bloggers. Although Rory, fortunately, hasn’t bitten anyone recently, it’s our little girl who has run into behavior problems lately.  Likely a function of how much she and Rory wrestle and roughhouse at home, Charlotte is inclined to tug on her friends or even crawl over and/or sit on them at daycare.  The absurdity of it is that she is about half the size of most of her classmates, many of whom ought to be able to shove her off easily.  However, she is the only younger sibling in her current classroom– the remaining children are all first children that haven’t been subjected to the rough play of their older siblings.

I don’t say that to excuse the issue, but it’s been an interesting obstacle to work through with her teachers and at home.  Her teachers all readily accept and willingly agree that it’s good to have a young girl with such a strong and confident personality.  They also admit that they find it humorous to watch her take down kids twice her size.  But, they also have a classroom to oversee, discipline to instill in these children, and, obviously, the health and safety of the other children to protect.

At Charlotte’s age, redirection really is the only way to combat Charlotte’s combative ways.  We’ve been trying to work with Rory on teaching her the importance of gentle touch and to tone down the rough play at home.  But, I have to admit, I want her to be able to stand up to her big brother, so it’s quite the balance to try to strike.  We’ll continue to emphasize the importance of using words to talk through conflicts and being gentle to one another.  For now, that is probably the best we can do.

One More Bite

Monday, April 25th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Too funny that Friday Mom’s little boy, Rory, has been having some issues with biting lately. Well, maybe not funny for her, but coincidental in that I’m having the same problem with Hudson. He has been biting everyone, but the poor soul taking the brunt of his noshing is Haley. Makes sense—after all, she is the kid he plays with the most. Considering his verbal skills are not that well developed, he feels he has no choice but to voice his frustration by engaging in physical assault. He’s not above giving you a good smack, either.

I don’t condone his behavior, but I understand where he’s coming from. His pal “Sister” is bigger and stronger, so what she says pretty much goes. Hudson can’t plead his case, but he wants to be heard, or felt, as the case may be. He either screams and cries or bites and hits. Those are all bad options.

I’m trying to explain to Hudson that ‘no biting’ is pretty much a hard and fast rule. He definitely understands what I’m saying. He still doesn’t listen, though. In fact, he often laughs when being chastised. Haley is particularly irritated at those moments. What are really fun are the instances when he bites her, she cries, I admonish him, and then he cries.

We can’t put all the blame on the little guy. Haley can definitely be bossy. I’m trying to teach her to be more patient and selfless with her baby brother. That’s another lesson that’s sinking in very slowly. Hopefully as their relationship develops, so will their ability to engage peacefully with each other.