Your Brother is Not a Horse (and other younger sibling problems)

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Things I would have freaked out about with my first child, exhibit A. A toddler hugging them. It’s OK though, A loves his brother’s hugs.

I remember when J was 6 moths old I legitimately almost unfriended some one (in real life, not in FB land) when their son pushed him twice during a play date. I almost had a panic attack when  a friend tossed him a few inches in the air. I threw out a pacifier because another child had used it. Perhaps best of all, I thought I had given him shaken baby syndrome from driving down a gravel road. Yeah, I’ll admit it, I was crazy  CRAZY  bat shit insane. Fast forward to baby number 2, and the standards have DEFINITELY changed.

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Poor A, being the second baby is definitely both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, the hubs and I are “well seasoned” parents. We know how to cope with a crying baby, we know how to cope with a sleepy baby. We learned through trial and error with J, and now know several pitfalls we’d like to avoid this time. Like, for example, allowing J to sleep with us until he was 10 months old. And by with us, I really mean ON us. J didn’t sleep outside of someone’s arms regularly until he was 10 months old.

Also on the plus side, I’m a lot more relaxed which means A is a lot more relaxed. I’m telling you, this kid is the happiest, most relaxed baby ever. He is so content to play by himself or with others, to be held or to explore the floor on his own. Part of this is most certainly his personality, but I think our attitudes towards him have reinforced it.

Yes, there are lots of plusses to being the younger child but there are some undeniable downsides as well. You are subject to being your older siblings “living doll,” or in our case horsey. J will pet A, try to feed hum carrots, and even try to ride him if he’s laying on the floor. This leads to a lot of repeating of, “that’s not safe, I won’t let you ride A like a horsey,” and other variations of that phrasing.

There’s also the issue of having your things frequently taken. I know we will soon outgrow this phase and soon A will be taking J’s things just as frequently, but right now poor kid gets things snatched away from him left and right. To both of their credit, A doesn’t generally very upset by it and J will give him another toy be deems more “suitable.” This leads to a lot of my husband and I saying, “I won’t key you take tykes from your brother, it’s not kind,” and the like.

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It’s tough being a younger sibling. You’re likely to get stepped on, manipulated and bossed around. There are a lot more times where A gets nearly waterboarded during bath time/ suffocated by hugs/ crushed during sbuggling than I ever thougt I’d tolerate. It comes with the territory of being the youngest in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t let J beat up on A, but at the same time I don’t want him go be afraid to interact with him and since he’s a toddler that sometimes doesn’t go perfectly.

But on the plus side A has a co-conspirator, someone to enjoy all of the mischief of childhood with and to point the finger at when the hubby and I ask who’s idea it was. And let’s face it in those situations it’s always the oldest fault, and J will take the lion’s share of the blame, which makes being a younger sibling a pretty sweet gig.

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