Passover is finally behind us, which means so is DH’s Monsoon Wedding of a birthday, my brother’s brief trip from the States to meet his niece and hang out, and 8 days of eating Matzah. Blech.
What that also means is that the diet started today, after a “final supper” with DH at Gabriel’s in town. That place is amazing, and I’m still tasting on my tongue the delicious glass of Carmel Winery’s Merlot.
With routines getting back to normal, I’ve had some time to reflect on the holiday and especially having both of my girls home for more than a week. And, I’ve realized, that there is some serious sibling rivalry going on and I’m not really sure the right way to handle it.
In a nutshell: Whatever DD#1 has in her hand, DD#2 wants. To the point where she will just pull it out of her older sisters hands. That causes an unbelievable amount of frustration on the part of DD#1 and she ends up screaming at her sister, screaming at us, and yelling a lot. We tried to distract the little one with similar toys, and to help her play together and not necessarily play by taking away all of her older sisters’ toys, but it didn’t help. We know DD#2 understands the word “no,” but that just doesn’t stop her. And, while we eventually encourage the older one to either play in her room with the door closed, or to move to a higher table like the kitchen or dining room, it’s really not fair to her that she has to be the one to move away when all she wants to do is play.
And it’s with everything! If DD#2 is sitting in my lap, DD#1 wants to come in for a cuddle. Now, I’m a big Mama and got plenty of lap space for the two of them, but they both don’t really like to share the lap. When I’m on the floor playing with DD#2, to distract her from taking the toys of DD#1, my eldest abandons her toys and comes to play with me too. I laugh and tell her that it defeats the purpose of me distracting the baby if she no longer wants to play with the toys, but that just doesn’t resonate with her. She just sees Mommy playing with one child, and she wants to play too.
And I have no IDEA why the baby likes to frustrate her older sister by pulling out her pacifier. We are slowly weening our eldest off of her pacifier. We have her day weened in that she cannot leave the house in public with the pacifier, although on long car trips we give in. She pretty much only gets the pacifier when she is watching TV or when she is going to bed. Our goal is to get her completely night trained and then we’ll work on giving up her pacifier. But, since the girls were home on vacation, I let her use it more that usual and she likes to sit on her little couch with the pacifier and watch TV. And sure enough, the little one crawled right up to her and would just pull the pacifier out of her mouth! She didn’t want to put it into her own mouth since she had hers in there, she just liked yanking it out and getting a rise out of her sister. It got to the point where I literally had to keep a hand over DD#1’s pacifier/mouth and tell the baby “no” each time she tried to pry my hand loose.
Aside from the sibling rivalry though, we had a really enjoyable vacation together. I was so relaxed and enjoyed our practically non-existent schedule. If DD#1 wanted to stay in PJ’s until 11:00 a.m., and color on her little table or play in the living room, I gladly let her. We went on walks to the Supermarket and the park, and I let the eldest blow bubbles during our trek. We went to the museum and to parks in other neighborhoods where the girls could go on swings, and we actually took BOTH girls out to dinner at Moshava 54. It was a great experience, they were both behaved and ate nicely. It was the first time since DD#2’s birth, where we were able to go out to eat as a family. That was just so exciting, to know that they are both at an age where we can dine out and I don’t have to whip out the cape to breastfeed while trying to eat my appetizer with one hand, and cut up DD#1’s chicken with the other.
And the best part of all? When my eldest child pulled her little sister in for a cuddle, and they hugged.
How do you handle sibling rivalry at such a young age? All advice and anecdotes welcome in the comment section!!