Thursday, December 30, 2010

Big Brother At Five Months

When Emma was two months old, I wrote a post about Will's transition to being a big brother. I commended his sweetness and lack of jealousy. Though I knew rough waters could be ahead, it was smooth sailing at that point. A few of my commenters let me know about Sibing Rivalry: Phase Two (of Eleventy-Billion), which hits at about 5 - 6 months when the older sibling clues in that the newest family member is here to stay. As these commenters and friends are people that I trust and respect, I decided to enjoy the good times, but buckle up for the bad.

Well, here we are at five months. And I have to tell you, Will still exceeds my expectations as a big brother. He is amazing with his little sister.

He is protective. When other kids try to get in her business, he will run over and stand guard. He is okay if they look or touch very gently, but if they get too pushy or take a toy, he intervenes on her behalf. "My sister!" or "Emma's toy!" are his war cries as he swoops in to defend her, pushing a too-curious hand away from her face or recouping the toy and returning it to its rightful owner.

He is generous. Many a times, we have had to snatch a goldfish, lollipop, or other such yummy goodness right before it goes from his hand into her ol' mouth. Will likes to share his food and he is quick about it. We had many discussions with Will about how Emma only drinks milk, but then he got good and confused when we started solids. Oh, and we also told him many times that Emma couldn't eat XYZ because she doesn't have any teeth. Well, now he is good and confused because she has teeth! He also will bring her toys when he is playing, which is very sweet, but sometimes dangerous, as Matchbox cars from M's 1975 collection don't make good teethers.

He is a snuggle monster. He loves to "cuddle Emma," especially in his bed. This might be my favorite part of our days together and it's not just because it's right before nap or bedtime! I get my two little cherubs freshly diapered and into comfy sleep clothes and then pop them in Will's crib to read stories to them. They laugh, tickle each other, and generally have a rip-roaring good time. We are all laughing, nearly to tears, by the time I get through a rousing rendition of "The Belly Button Book".

Equally charming is how much Emma adores Will. She tracks him around the room with her eyes. Her eyes light up and her smile stretches to impossible proportions when he enters her line of sight. Watching how much they clearly love each other is so precious. I know there are many fights and "S/he hit me first/took my toys/ruined my life!" episodes ahead, so I am treasuring the amazing bond that is developing between them at the current time.


It's not all sunshine and roses here. What I have noticed lately is that he definitely has had a second round of jealousy. He is constantly asking for "up me" when I am taking Emma downstairs and cannot physically pick him up. He is going through a Mommy-phase where he prefers me to do things for him rather than M, which can be a challenge, especially at bedtime. He is two in every sense of the word with legendary tantrums that make me respect him for his tenacity and longevity, if not for the headeache these episodes leave me with. He is also just entering the dreaded "I do it meself!" which is already losing its luster.

But I am still so very proud of him. Being two isn't easy. There is so much to learn and do, so many feelings to process, so many adults telling him what he can and can't do. And he is doing a pretty stellar job of navigating this time in his life and being a pretty amazing brother on top of it all.

Oh my gosh. How I love these two little people. Their smiles make my world.


HereWeGoAJen said...

I'm glad it is going so well! They are just the cutest!

Anonymous said...

Hands down the best thing about having two children is watching them together. There is nothing better than simultaneous laughter and silliness. It only gets better! :)

Rebecca said...

Those pictures are lovely...

I was entertained that you called him "generous." That is such a nice way to put it!

I'm sure it's really hard to try to please him right now. Jealousy is an ugly thing and when no one but Mom will do, that puts a lot of stress on you. I'll bet you're taking lots of deep breaths.