• J Mess


The sibling squabbles are starting earlier than I anticipated.

I can admit it. When I was a child, I was horrendous to my little brother. After decades of self-reflection I can say that now. I tormented him and I beat him up. My parents always told me exactly what you'd expect. "Just wait until he's bigger than you." Then I'd be in real trouble. He is in fact bigger than me now. And I think he's probably still secretly plotting his revenge. I'm sure he'll get me when I least expect it. And I'll deserve it. Given that dynamic, I can't even imagine what would have gone on if we had to be quarantined in our house together 24/7 for 3 months. Probably a constant, all-out war. Which I see the seeds of in my house these days. It's different because they're both still really young. And Sydney will probably never be bigger than Nathan, but she might be stealthier. She's got spunk and she already knows how to fight back in an adorable way. The tables might have turned and it looks like this time I'm rooting for the younger child.

When Sydney first came home, Nathan's advances were purely out of love and a lack of understanding of his own strength. He didn't realize that "my baby," as he called her, was a small human, not a doll, and therefore he probably shouldn't pull her little fingers or shove a dinosaur into her eye. He'd constantly, aggressively put his face into her face and every time I'd say "please don't get in her face Nathan," he'd apparently hear please continue putting your face up to hers. But she couldn't really move so she couldn't fight back. Yet. As she's been getting bigger, she's become more interactive. And he is still obsessed with her. Except when she's taking his toys and eating them. Or finally standing up for herself. When he was roughly messing around by her, and almost knocking her over the other day, she grabbed a handful of his hair and pulled. Hard. He looked very surprised, burst out laughing, and then immediately went back almost knocking her over. Because no matter how many times I repeat my constant chorus of "BE NICE to her NATHAN," he simply cannot control himself.

The other day he chucked a stuffed George Pig directly at her head. She just looked dazed and smiled as it bounced off her little face.

Poor Sydney, she's taken all her knocks totally in stride. I guess it's just second kid territory. He grabs toys out of her little hands. Literally anything she's holding, he forcibly removes. He eats her food. Yes apparently now Nathan thinks "puffs" are a delicacy. He tries to hug her and knocks her down or crushes her. Sometimes he even purposely pushes her down and then when she starts to cry and I ask him what happened he says "Sydney was eating my toy so I took it and then I shoved her." We're gonna need to work on your lying kid. During the heart of the pandemic when I was struggling with working and taking care of 2 little ones, I was thinking that maybe I could use him to occasionally watch her because he'd periodically go and fetch things for her that I needed. Can you get Syd's cat Paci Nathan?, and then he'd bring it over and shove it down her throat. Can you get Syd's monkey bib?, and he'd try to put it on her and end up almost strangling her with it. It was a good idea if you like having a linebacker babysit, or a toddler...


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