Friday, August 10, 2007

Not what I expected

The hardest part of having three children has not been at all what I anticipated. The most challenging part of number three (Reagan) has been number two (Parker). And the issue has not been jealousy as I had been warned, but overzealous affection. He truly seems to love his little sister. She is the first person he greets in the morning and the last person he wants to see before he goes to bed. Reagan is the recipient of the endless hugs and kisses that used to be reserved for me. That’s where the problem comes in. Reagan isn't quite as excited to receive the affection as Parker is to give it. While there are only 26 months between them, Parker was almost 3 when we brought Reagan home, solid muscle and with far more strength and energy than his 28 pounds would suggest. He just overwhelms her. It’s gotten to the point where she can almost anticipate his roughness, and anything beyond a quick kiss will cause her to whimper. Even actions that are well received from Alyssa are shunned when they come from Parker. It’s really quite sad. At first we were hesitant to discipline him for it because his intentions seem pure, but we’ve had to institute a lips-only touching policy which has earned him more than a few consequences. Part of the problem, as my sister-in-law pointed out, may be that Reagan didn’t seem fragile to him when she first came home. He has always been pretty gentle with newborns, but since Reagan was already crawling, and since has learned to sit, stand, pull herself up, etc. perhaps he has interpreted her more as a new playmate than a baby. But while this might explain the problem, it doesn’t fix it. It breaks my heart because first because I want Reagan to love her brother, and second because I feel like we’re constantly on Parker. The two just don’t seem that compatible at this point, and in a few days I will lose my mediator in Alyssa! I just don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions?!?

1 comment:

Nicki said...

I could have written this post! This is our exact same challenge. Noah absolutely adores Addison and he's isn't intentionally rough with her but he is constantly in her face and she can't even stand kisses much of the time. For awhile I had it under control and it was great - he saw that she was much more likely to seek him out if he just left her alone but now he's back to doing it again and I think its almost like a bad habit! All I can say is that there will be retribution :-P Addison has a temper and she'll fight back but so far Noah still thinks its just cute. Soon he'll get pummelled and maybe he'll finally start respecting her boundaries.

I really feel for you. It is such a weird thing to deal with - a sibling who just loves the other too much! haha