This month was definitely not better for you and for that I’m sorry. I know that you really love your brother. I know you want to be close to him and cuddle him and kiss him. I know that whilst your three-year-old self is slightly rougher with him than we would ideally like, you are gentle and loving and careful. Mostly.
Despite this, your month has been filled with stop touching him, don’t climb on me, quit hovering over him and a whole lot of NO. It is hard to make you understand that your brother is fragile and spends a lot of time sleeping. Also that we would like to keep him as calm and contented as possible, as much as possible. We would prefer that you didn’t wake him up or stop him drifting off to sleep. We would like to make sure that you don’t inadvertently injure him by falling on him or bruising him. We would also like to keep him healthy which requires you to be clean and not in his face.
For myself, whilst I feel a billion times better now that I am no longer pregnant, when I have your baby brother in my arms, I could really do without you stepping on my feet, knocking my arms if he is latched on my breast and being in my way when I need to move him somewhere. I love your cuddles and your kisses and I’d hate for you to get out of the habit of physically showing me that you love me but I have struggled this month. Trying to balance the needs of two children that both need me physically and emotionally has taken its toll. I have also struggled with the need to balance my needs as a person with my responsibilities as a mother. I’m not sure I succeeded on either count. I don’t think I achieved the status of epic fail this month but I am pretty sure my report card would read “needs improvement”.
For your part though, you have accepted your brother into the family as though he has always been a part of it. You have acknowledged his needs and begrudged him nothing. Well ok, you may have gotten a little tired of the fact that he does take a lot of my time. You have told me on a couple of occasions this month, mummy, I’d like you to stop feeding Elliot now. But I know that this stems from your need for more quality time with me and not from wishing that Elliot does not get to have me. Sometimes you become a recalcitrant child and misbehave because you are tired and cannot communicate what you want. However, sometimes you are quite clear in your desires. You still announce in an upbeat and perky voice I didn’t have any tv today mum in the expectation that I will immediately offer you that particular privilege. You still haven’t figured out that I am just as likely to turn around and say yes, I know as I am to allow you some more screen time. Bummer, huh?
In your attempts to be subtle you have also developed a new tactic you believe will trick us into reading you stories. You will now get out a story book and announce that you are going to read me a story. When you open a page with text on it though which we both know full well that you cannot actually read, you will inevitably turn and ask me what do we say now? Either that or you will turn to a page, point to some words and ask do you know what this says? Which is incidentally how you find out other things that you think you should know. We might ask you to put your drink bottle on the bench and you will reply with do you know which is the bench? Did I forget to say that you end up asking us a lot of silly questions? We are still very much in the midst of the single word question of why phase but we also get a lot of questions, the like of which I already know that you already know the answer.
There are some topics on which are an expert though. You told me in no uncertain terms the other day that the dancing you do at your ballet lessons is not really ballet. Its just pretend ballet. I am inclined to agree with you although I’m pretty sure we still have different definitions of what does actually constitute real ballet. I’m just saying.