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Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Brotherly Incident

The most often asked question I get these days is: How are the kids with the baby?  My responses vary from 'awesome,' 'unbelievable,' 'wonderful,' 'amazing,' and I follow up with: the transition has been 'smooth as silk!' and I mean every word.  Both of the kids ADORE Brecken.  Every single morning is like the first time they've ever seen him.  They hug and kiss and tickle and read and make him laugh each and every morning the first thing when he wakes up.  It's amazing to me that 10 weeks later they still get so excited just to be around him.  They both love to hold him and especially love to make him laugh.  It's been so much easier than I imagined when I was pregnant.  People (especially old ladies) comment almost on a daily basis what a good boy Christian is and they even ask if he's always such a good helper as he's holding a door for me to get the stroller though or carrying the diaper bag for a minute for me.  

But then...we had an incident this morning.

I put Brecken in his little Bumbo seat for just a few minutes while I was finishing getting ready.  That was only the second time he'd ever been in it so the kids were so excited.  They were trying to get him to hold blocks and were all over in his face so I explained that he just wanted to watch them play.  So they started stacking large plush blocks in front of him on the floor and knocked them over.  I was watching and loving it and I went to my closet for about 1.5 minute.  When I came around the corner I couldn't believe my eyes.  Literally, could not believe what I was seeing.  Christian was throwing block after block at the baby's head and they were bouncing off.  Christian was singing a song and casually throwing one after another gently at his head.  They were bouncing off his little baby head.  Victoria was sitting right next to him stacking blocks.

I was furious.  I yelled, "What in the world are you doing?"  I wanted to scare him.  I startled him so bad he threw a block in the air and the look in his face was something I've never seen.  Straight up fear.  

"That is your baby brother who loves you and expects you to protect him!  Get to your room now!"

Christian began crying (the baby was perfectly fine through all of this) and ran to his room saying, "I'm sorry Brecky.  I'm sorry!"  

He stood in his doorway apologizing over and over and over.  I left him there for about 2 minutes while I talked to Victoria.  I told her she needs to look out for her brother and she said she told him he was throwing them 'too hard at him.'  What the hell kind of children am I raising around here?!?!  I explained ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is too hard to hit his head.  She started crying and I sent her to get ready for school.  

I walked into Christian's room with Brecken in my arms.  Christian was pretty close to hysterical with tears and snot everywhere.  He had the saddest look on his face.  I settled him down and laid the baby on his bed.  We talked about how much we love him and how important it is to take care of him and protect him.  I had him run his finger over Brecken's soft spot and reminded him how fragile his little head is.  Then we looked at his fingers and toes and talked about how fragile they are.  Then we talked about how much we love him and what a big responsibility we all have to teach him and love him and keep him safe.  Next, I got very serious about how I need to be able to trust Christian with his little brother.  Christian started crying and said, "I love him so much mommy.  Don't take Brecky away from me," and buried his head in my lap.  

I had him tell Brecken he was sorry and gave him and kiss and then he gave him a super long hug saying, "I love you," over and over again.

I asked Christian if he'd like to help me get Brecken ready for the day.  So we picked out his outfit, changed his diaper and got him dressed.  I felt I made my point and we needed to move on towards a positive day.

However, I couldn't shake it.  I was so upset and disappointed with him.  I was driving and the thought of him throwing those blocks popped into my head and I almost started crying.  I was so embarrassed and shocked he'd do such a thing.  It was on my mind all day.  

Hopefully it was just a bad choice and lack of judgement for one instance.  But it really got me thinking.  When a child makes a bad choice there's something behind it.  Boredom, over tired, not consistent discipline, etc there's a lot of reasons.  Christian is a sweet gently little boy.  So this really threw me off.  I've never seen him be anything but gentle to all babies, even all children (excluding his sister).  The more I thought about it today the more I realized how much the way I treat him has changed since March 17th.   There's no question he's matured a lot since the arrival of his little brother.  As I was thinking today I realized some phrases I often say now that I wouldn't say before:  Hold on.  Not right now.  In a minute. Go play. Act like a 5 year old.  I raise my voice more often than ever before.  I have less patience since I am most likely holding a baby when he needs me.  

Whether these things have anything to do with the incident or not, it was good for me to realize he needs some extra love, patience and attention right now.  

There's no excuse for him doing that.  I'm hoping it was a wake up call for him to pay attention to his behaviors and be a good role model for his little brother.  It was also a wake up call to me.

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