I HATE HER
With a title like that, what could be the problem?
I am the first born, so I am definitely sympathetic to the plight of the younger child. Obviously I do not remember how I felt when my parents brought home my baby brother all those years ago. Some kids are super excited to get a sibling, and others are not thrilled to have to share the spotlight, attention, love, toys, etc with anyone. Depending on their age, most kids probably don't even fully understand what's going on. Some days I wonder if Nathan grasps that one day Syd wasn't here and the next day she was. Does he even recall what it was like before she was born? Where does he think she came from? Although he does shockingly remember a lot of random stuff, like the day he met her it was raining, and he said "mazel tov." I seriously think he's a weird genius.
When we first brought Sydney home, Nathan seemed like a very doting big brother. He wanted to help feed her, hold her, and change her diaper. In fact occasionally I wished he would pay less attention to her. He always wanted to touch her pacifier and kiss her face. He'd run around insisting "I kiss you face! I kiss you face!," and the second she would start to cry, he'd sprint over and shove the pacifier in her mouth. It was adorable, super helpful, but also concerning. Because he didn't understand his own strength or that Syd was actually a human being not a doll. And when I say shove the pacifier, I really mean shove. Like down her throat.
But I thought it was all out of love. Nathan is a very sweet little boy, when he's not a demonic 2-year-old. And considering that getting a sibling is a huge life milestone for a little kid, to which some have trouble adjusting, I was pretty impressed with how well everything had been going. One morning Nathan told me that Syd was his best friend and I almost melted into a puddle. And he is always looking for her and recognizing that she also resides in our house. The first thing he says every morning after "want iPad," is "where's Syd?" Although recently I'm no longer sure if he wants me to tell him where she's located, or he's hoping she's gone.
It's all fun and games until you interrupt Nathan's story time.
Nighttime is hard for me. When I have to do dinner and bedtime by myself it's a lot. Forget bathtime, that's just a nonstarter. I'm literally outnumbered. Someone is always crying for something and nobody understands "one second, you're next." Not even the cat, and the poor guy is now always last. Attempting to establish a routine is futile. Syd never sleeps when I want to feed Nathan dinner and get him ready for bed. Why on earth would she ever be that cooperative? So I have to deal with her, while I'm dealing with him. And when his feeding or his story time gets overtaken by Syd's needs, he gets upset and jealous. I get it little dude, her crying is very annoying. And so is yours.
It was the first time I'd seen him react that way. In fact I was surprised it had taken so long because it's a totally normal response for a child. He wanted to sit on my lap and read his stories and be the center of attention for once. It wasn't too much to ask, but Syd picked this opportune time to cry
because she was hungry. Nathan looked so defeated and sad when I tried to explain to him that I had to go get Sydney some food and I'd be right back to finish reading. I felt terrible that I secretly wished he'd just go to bed so I could manage her.
The next morning I tried to stash Sydney in the bouncer while I got him ready for school. She temporarily behaved and let me shower Nathan with one-on-one attention. Until it was time to head downstairs for breakfast. Nathan refused to come down the stairs by himself and insisted that I carry him. One problem. I was carrying Syd. You know, because she's an infant. I tried explaining to him that Syd is just a baby so mommy has to carry her downstairs and Nathan is a bigger boy who can go downstairs by himself. Or I could bring Sydney downstairs first and then come right back up and carry him down next. I thought my logic was working until he screamed "No Syd! I hate her! I want to go uppy first!" Well that honeymoon phase ended quick. Please tell us how you really feel Nate! And just forget it if my husband is holding the baby, Nathan would probably use nastier words than I hate her if he knew any...