Monday, April 4, 2011

Sibling Rivalry.

It happens.
I used to fight with mine, and still do to this day.
After finding out I was pregnant a fight with my sister led to her saying,
"Why don't you go have sex? Bitch".
Er, I did, hence the situation of being pregnant.

But that's another story.
Just wanted to add it because it's still funny nearly 3 years later.

Now, when I first had the kids, I was still living at home with my parents & siblings.
Master S, despite being an only child, never was alone.
Due to constantly being surrounded by children,
I had concerns about sibling rivalry,
but not many.

My concerns were based on other things,
Would Master S feel equally loved, even though he was?
Would Mr. M favour Master S over the new baby, since he grew up being the least favourite child in his family?
Would I be able to teach a 19 month old to be gentle?

I would only have answers to these when I gave birth.
Master S [obviously] was a big part of my pregnancy.
He attended all my appointments and ultrasounds.

I started him in PlayGroup to get him used to being around other children,
and borrowed many library books about being a big brother.
He was still young, but was incredibly wise.
He knew "his" bub was living in my tummy,
and was very gentle with my tummy, and loved feeling her kicks.
He'd talk to her & kiss my tummy everyday.

When I went into labour, I was at home and remained as calm as I could so as not to frighten him.
He was to stay home and go to bed while we were at the hospital,
but before he did, he rubbed my tummy through my contractions,
and helped me by holding my water bottle.

I left him that night telling him I loved him,
and when I saw him again, he'd have a little sister.

[Amongst the labour pain, I was incredibly nervous, as it was our first night apart].

After delivering his sister, safely before midnight,
I found it difficult to sleep.
I missed him so much, but knew his Daddy would bring him to see us first thing in the morning.
This unsettled me some.

Mr. M was a big brother at 11 months old.
It was his first Christmas, and his Mum wasn't there with him.
My Nightmare in Law told me the moment Mr. M laid eyes on his sister,
he looked at her & his Mum with pure hatred,
and they still hate each other to this day

The moment I heard Mr. M's voice,
and the sound of Master S' tiny feet running up the corridor,
I was overwhelmed with several emotions.
Relief that he'd made it through the night without me.
Happiness at seeing him after a night apart.
And, apprehension, obviously, about his reaction to myself & his new sister.

The moment he came into the room and saw me holding Miss E,
I looked at his face, and felt silly for feeling unsure.
His eyes were filled with love, awe, pride.
He loved her on sight.
He wanted to hold her, and cried whenever anyone else was holding her because he wanted her back.

When we got home he was so helpful.
[Much to the disgust of my Health Centre Nurse who told me he was a child, and I shouldn't expect him to be a parent... er, okay crazy, he is the one who wants to help, and I'm not pushing him away because you say I have to!?]
If she was sleeping, he'd watch her and tell everyone to "shhh".
If she was awake, he'd touch her face, or climb on the couch with his arms out to hold her.
He'd bring me nappies when she needed them, and even if she didn't,
When I fed her, he sat beside me so we could all read a book together.
When she learned new things, he clapped and cuddled her,
Every night before bed he'd kiss her on the head.

All was well.
We moved out into our own place, and all was still well.
Until she got a little older.
If she touches his toys he snatches them off her.
Sometimes, he hits her for no reason.
Sometimes she cries while playing with him,
and when Master S gets in trouble,
she's grinning ever so smugly.

They have my whole heart.
Both of them.
I love them the same.
I thought loving one child was intense, but loving two is insane!

I want them to see each other as equals,
not rivals.
I buy them the same toys,
because Miss E likes cars,
and Master S likes dollies,
so if one gets something,
so does the other.
But Master S thinks all the cars should be his,
and at the end of our full on days,
that is what their fights are mostly over.

Stupid little toy cars.

I am trying to teach them sharing,
but it's tough when one doesn't understand,
and the other is big enough to stuff the cars in his pockets and run.

Other than the lack of sharing,
he loves his sister.
She loves her brother and cries if he leaves her by herself.

He occasionally goes to stay over at his Nana's,
and the whole time he's gone,
not only am I dealing with my own sense of loss,
but I'm dealing with her's.
She's incredibly clingy,
and won't settle until he comes home.

Do your children fight with one another & if so,
How do you deal with sibling rivalry?


  1. Tara you could well be describing my household.
    My two are 13 months apart and I'll be honest they rarely get along nicely.
    I've been finding lately getting them to do joint activities like colouring in etc has worked to help them get along, as well as role playing, their favourite thing to play is "shops".
    They're 3 and 4 years old respectively and although it has been the most challenging experience of my life, it has also been rewarding and will continue to be because they are so close in age. As they grow as little people and learn they don't HAVE to compete, things will get easier, but for now keep them involved with each other :)
    I feel your pain hahaha.

  2. olivia dosnt have any siblings yet, but her and her father fight enough! lol
    but i remember as a child my sisters and i fought like crazy infact we still do! i think its normal for siblings to fight.