Little Brother Antidote - Jazz and Disco Balls?

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.

Island of Sodor Emily
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.

The Lip
"The Lip"

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.

Valentine's Day 2009


Jill said...

We think our lives are turned upside down when baby #2 arrives. But I don't think we can fathom what "baby" #1 goes through. We have near constant struggles with this. It has never escalated to throwing (on purpose) (yet), but the moments when Rocco actually likes having his little brother around are few and far between. He has asked when we are giving him back and said that he wishes we didn't have a baby. In fact at Christmas, he asked Santa for "no more Spike." But I am hopeful that in a few years, when they have more in common, that they will be able to build a strong relationship. Right now, though, I just don't see it.

Amy said...

Jill- It will get better! Most of the time my boys play really well together. But a toddler is a toddler, and my 6 yr old gets frustrated with him, and of course the toddler has no clue what he did, so there we go around!

But mostly, they are fine, and I'm sure your will get ot an age where they settle into a good pattern with at least as much fun as fighting!

Rachel said...

Oh my gosh. A little part of me just broke for poor Bear and then it snapped into giggles at Shark Boy "disco ball" indeed.

Bless his adorable little heart!!

Jennifer said...

This is so funny and so sad at the same time!

Burgh Baby said...

My husband could tell soooo many similar stories about himself and his four brothers. He always says he loved them so much that he HAD to beat the crap out of them from time-to-time.

Rima said...

Awe, those poor little dudes! I feel for both of them.

BTW, my toddler has been putting himself in a timeout lately as soon as he does something wrong. He'll wedge himself in, too, and then just stand there bawling until he gets distracted by something.

Avonlea said...

Aww, poor little guys. That's so sad and funny. Children can certainly break our hearts sometimes. We have just one, but last night he told my husband for the first time, "You no my friend!"

Jessica Miller Kelley said...

Matt and I got a huge laugh out of the "jazz music and disco ball" comment. Matt pointed out that it sounds like something random Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell in Anchorman) would say!

Amy said...

JMK - My son, Ron Burgundy. That is too funny!

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