The relationship between my two boys will forever stress me out. It changes by the second. And Camryn isn’t even one year old yet! I can’t imagine what it will be like when he is old enough to pick on his brother and also defend himself. It will be quite interesting I am sure. I am also sure that I will be grey by the time I am 40!
Just this morning, Aiden was playing with his toys. The optimal word here being ‘HIS’. Which means, not for Camryn to play with or even look at. Camryn starts crawling towards him and Aiden, like a madman, starts frantically picking up all his toys while yelling NO!!!! He then moves across the living room to get away from his brother. I think he temporarily forgot that Camryn can crawl now, so before he can even lay his toys down his brother is right behind him reaching, grabbing and pulling on Aiden to play with him. Aiden is beet red by this point and I can’t help but want to laugh. After all, I have three siblings so I know what it’s like to want something simply because your sibling has it or simply because you don’t want your sibling to have it. Instead, I tell Aiden to please be nice and play with his brother. Aiden refuses and abandons his toys, walks away and starts playing with something else, leaving Camryn to look at the toys and look back at Aiden and then stare straight ahead. His little mind realizing that they aren’t as appealing now that his brother isn’t there to play with them too.
So Aiden starts playing puzzles on the iPad. Camryn is drawn to the bright colors of course, and he just wants desperately to play with his brother. I sit Camryn on the couch next to Aiden so Camryn can watch him. Harmless enough you would think! HA! Not a chance (which is what Aiden actually says out loud when he realizes Camryn is watching the screen)! He then maneuvers his body in a way that hides the entire screen from Camryn’s view. Ugh! When did he turn into an ASS!! He wins! Or does he….because Camryn thinks this is hilarious and starts pulling on Aiden’s shirt and tugging at his hair. Aiden gets mad. He gets off the couch, goes to the rocking chair and snarls at us from across the room. So Camryn is left with his second choice, me, and we play on the floor with his toys (and maybe some of his brother’s while he is not looking).
I can’t help but feel sorry for Camryn. His brother wants nothing to do with him….most of the time. So Camryn spends a lot of time entertaining himself (which is definitely not a bad thing. Aiden always played well alone too but he really had no choice). When he is not entertaining himself he is chasing after his brother, begging to be played with. Most times it seems Aiden ignores him, but there are times when he doesn’t. There are times when they play together, or Aiden tries to teach Camryn things. There are times when they are sitting side by side and laughing or playing a little too rough for my liking and I am overwhelmed with complete and utter happiness. My heart feels like it is going to explode as I watch Aiden put his arms around his brother, give him a hug. Then kiss his face. He has even told Camryn that he loves him. He even tells him he is his best friend. He even told the lady at Dollarama that she can’t bring Camryn home with her because he belongs to our family. It’s been a while since he told me he wants Camryn to go back home to the hospital where he came from.
And then while I am looking at them, smiling about how having two kids is the best gift I ever could have given myself, or them, it happens. The love and affection is short lived. The laughter turns to screams and tears and one of them is falling and landing on the other and within 22 seconds I go from sappy Mommy to referee as my two boys tumble to the ground in a headlock. Damn it. Reality has struck again.
Seeing as Camryn is a baby and unable to defend himself, I grab him from underneath his brother and Aiden starts crying harder. “Deal with me first” he cries! So I adjust Camryn on my lap, making room for his brother. Both boys are now crying on me, getting boogers all over my shirt, pants and hair. It was fun while it lasted, the sharing, playing and sappiness. But it was very short lived. Even so, I don’t feel defeated because I know that I’ll get those moments back again. Someday.
An hour later, I see them sitting on the floor reading a book, Camryn trying to turn the pages before Aiden is ready. Aiden starts yelling at his brother. So I tell Aiden to stop yelling at his brother. Quiet story time turns into trying to prevent a helpless book from being torn to shreds. *Sigh* They are lying down on a blankie, being all cute, so I run for the camera because I want to capture this moment. But before I get out of the room Aiden realizes that it is his blankie they are lying on so he pulls it out from underneath Camryn, sending Camryn rolling across the room. Within 10 seconds it went from ‘Ahhh how sweet’ to ‘Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!
I constantly hear myself saying ‘Aiden, watch your brother. Aiden, be careful! Don’t hurt him. Careful of his arm. Don’t run over his fingers’ day in and day out. I am terrified to take my eyes off of them when they are together for fear that one of them will get hurt- by mistake or on purpose. We’ve had blood, bruises and lots and lots of tears. Not all Aiden’s fault either. I have a feeling that Aiden better watch out when he’s older because his brother will probably be bigger than him and want payback for all the times he wouldn’t share his toys. I dread the day when I know it will only get worse.
Aiden will often request for Camryn to go for a nap. Or if we are going out somewhere, he’ll ask if Camryn can stay home alone. I don’t think it is solely because he doesn’t like his brother’s company. I think part of it is the attention he loses when Camryn is around. Part of him misses being an only child, I know that. But he’s adjusting well to being a big brother. He loves his brother and shows concern for him when he’s crying. But sometimes, just sometimes, when he sees me get frustrated at Camryn, I swear I see him smile out of the corner of my eye. Like he’s thinking ‘haha! I’m Mommy’s favorite! She loves me better than you because you won’t stop crying when you should be napping’. I laugh because I know that at some point in this day I will be frustrated with him too and Camryn would be the one smiling if he was old enough to think the way Aiden does.
It is definitely hard and it definitely keeps me on my toes. I know I will forever sleep with one ear and maybe one eye open as they get older. But the moments where they drop their guard and show their affection for one another are the best moments of all. I may not have time to grab my camera, but I have the mental image in my head. It reminds me that love each other or hate each other, it doesn’t matter, the most important thing is that they will always, always, have each other.
Hugs & Smiles,