Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

21 Mar

I gave birth to a boy in August 2008. So technically I have a three year old son. Most days, however, I feel like I have 2 three year old sons!

The first one, the one that I really like, is smart, funny, adorable, polite, and well behaved. He could play for hours by himself with his giant imagination. He loves to draw and look at books and he’s working very hard at matching all the letters of the alphabet to the sounds they make.

He says please and thank you and you’re welcome and I love you. He wants to help us (his father and I) do everything, from cooking, cleaning, making tea, baking muffins, fixing the gate, and so much more.

He has such a wide array of interests from legos, trucks, dolls, tools, planes, trains, toy kitchen, animals, toy cleaning supplies, and so much more. He asks lots of questions, he observes so much about the world around him, he sings for us, tells us stories, likes to play games, and on and on and on.

I could list so many wonderful things about this little boy whom I love so much. So many wonderful things! The only things that bug me about this wonderful little boy are his BAD eating habits, his inability to transition well from one activity to the next, and his nightmares that require a lot of nighttime attention. But those things aren’t really bad, just annoying.

That’s the first boy. The second boy is…don’t make me say it!! Don’t ask me if I like him and I won’t have to lie! As soon as the little brother enters the room, the awesome three year old has some sort of mental breakdown! He immediately devolves into a crying toddler who can’t stop kicking and screaming! He demands that we put JP into the exer-saucer, hold him still, barricade him in the kitchen, or put him back to bed. He no longer amuses himself quietly with toys, books, or craft stuff, but becomes obsessed with the fact that JP is nearby and could potentially touch one of his toys at any moment! He grabs poor baby and pulls him far away, then lays on him until mom or dad comes to the rescue. If we comply with the demand to barricade baby in the kitchen, annoying boy is replaced by awesome boy and all returns to peace and zen.

We explain to our awesome boy time and time again that the baby is part of the family. He lives here and he can’t always be separated from us. Part of being a family means being together, learning to share, and being patient. I’ve lost count of these discussions and I’ve lost count of how many promises of better behaviour we’ve extracted.

This behaviour crept up on us slowly. At first the baby could move around so him being in the same room barely affected RJ. But now that little baby is quite mobile. And he wants to be with RJ.

I’m exhausted, frustrated, and angry. I’m also angry with myself for how angry I get at a three year old. I’m also sad because I really want my children to be friends. I know a baby/toddler relationship doesn’t mean anything regarding a future friendship…but I worry.

And, of course, I cave. I give in. To keep the peace, I just put the baby in the kitchen. But I won’t be able to do that for much longer because he’s starting to become aware of when he’s sepatated.

Is this normal? Do other older siblings become unlikeable assholes in the presence of a newly mobile younger sibling? Do they grow out of it?

I know a three year old is a person and people do need alone time. But I don’t always want to be dividing myself between two rooms. I will anyway, though, because as much as I dislike barricading the baby, I hate the screaming even more: the screaming and flipping out from that nasty three year old boy!

Oh, and even more maddening (and altogether heart-melting), sometimes RJ will just run up and hug and kiss the baby. And he’ll say, “I love you JP!” Or we’ll be out and he’ll say, “I really miss JP!” or, “I really wish my baby was here.”

Seriously?! Showing me that love makes me even more frustrated during the visits from Annoying McNasty!

Does anybody have any experience with this sort of sibling dynamic? Does anybody have some encouraging words for me?

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: