I heard a piercing shriek and ran to the kitchen stairs. I thought it was Bear, but he was standing on the landing with a look of apprehension on his face.
Shark Boy however, was crying hard on the upper staircase, holding his head and yelling that Bear had thrown a train car at him. On purpose.
It was Emily, and she's a heavy wench.
I hugged him to me, trying to feel for a lump, but he wouldn't let me. He was hurt, but also really angry. I reminded him that Bear is only two and he just got too excited. He didn't mean to hurt anyone.
I looked over my shoulder and said, "You can't throw things at people Bear. You've hurt your brother."
Bear's bottom lip rolled out for half a second before the wailing began. He cried like he was injured himself, but it was a different kind of hurt.
Shark ran downstairs, still crying.
I didn't know who to go to; the closer one won the moment. I hugged Bear to me, patting him and murmuring reassuringly.
Suddenly he turned away from me on the landing and walked into the corner. He pushed himself as flat and he could, trying to wedge himself there, face hidden in the crack.
He wasn't crying now. I could see his little body trembling and could hear, every few seconds, a choked sob. I tried to take hold of him but he pushed closer against the wall, chin in his chest. I settled for patting him on the back and telling him it was ok.
I died a little seeing him like that. He was sorry, and perhaps scared of what he had done. For such a little person, alive for a mere 24 months, having to process such complexity of emotion seemed too big, too much to ask.
(For the next 20 minutes I couldn't put him down without him going off like a siren.)
Shark Boy was having his own complex emotions, matched up nicely with his huge lump and his angry face.
His eyes brimming, he yelled, "Mom, I'm just not ready for a baby! And he's been here for years now! How will we ever get rid of him?"
Later, we talked again in his room, where he sat hugging his turtle and stewing things over. "It's too much responsibility to be a big brother. If he wasn't here I would have a party. A big party with jazz music and a disco ball!"
Shark asked me if I knew anyone who wanted a kid. I said, "Oh buddy, we can't give your brother away."
"Not for him. For me!"
I hadn't expected that. I made a good show of letting my genuine surprise show on my face and I said, "Oh no! Daddy and I would die of broken hearts if we didn't have you!"
His mouth had been open, prepared to retort, but he closed it at that. He generally dropped the subject after this exchange.
I laid in bed with Mr. P the next night, telling him about the unusually emotional time I'd had with them over the weekend. Mixed of course with hours and hours of them happily playing together.
It isn't serious, he assured me. It will pass.
And I know this to be true. Shark loves Bear very much. They are brothers. I pray continuously that their bond is always strong and their friendship lasting.
And that they don't try to kill each other, too much.