Sibling Without Rivalry

The Story:

For as long as he could remember, Julian the Lion Heart, Prince of Castlery East, had always wanted a sibling. A little brother or sister to run, explore, conspire and play with. Every night he counted the stars and wished for a little companion. And so it was with great joy that he found out that his wish would come true! Momma was bringing home a baby sister! On a starry mid-Autumn night, little Princess Layla arrived. As momma brought her gently into her brother’s arms, Julian gazed at her tiny hands and her flushed cheeks, before wrapping her up in the tenderest embrace. He bestowed a kiss on his sister’s forehead and told himself he would love, protect and be there for her forever. And he did.

The Reality:

Julian the Terror, convinced that Princess Stinky Fish Poo Pots is usurping his rightful throne to Castlery East and kidnapping Queen Momma, is determined to BRING. HER. DOWN.

family

Getting to know each other during the early days. It started out so well…

We are in a little fix now.

Seems Julian isn’t quite liking his newly minted status as older Brother.

Things looked so promising during the hospital visits. He was so excited and lavished his Mei Mei with kisses.

But once we got home, and L took on a more permanent fixture in the household, I guess the threat became more real.

In the last couple of weeks, he’s attempted to poke, smack and scratch her. On two occasions he made her cry. From what I’ve read, toddler jealousy is common and he’s hurting inside and needs time to adjust.

But it’s just really distressing for us, the parents, to witness. To think I had dreams of them being the perfect gift for each other.

kiss

To bite or not to bite?

Meanwhile, we try to remind J how loved he is and that he’s special. He gets one on one time with both parents and plenty of cuddles from his doting grandparents. Without resorting to quarantine levels of separation, we hold his hands back whenever he approaches his sister and coax him to be gentle. When possible, we enlist his help with little errands. I’ve even ordered a series of I’m a Big Brother books.

I have to remind myself that it’s still the early days.  That the boy is dealing with a lot of changes in his life now. And that with all parenting challenges, patience – and a lot of prayer – is critical.

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