With every advancement Owen makes in mobility and agility, Will regresses a bit in his ability to resist pestering the little guy. His favorite trick lately is to “catch” Owen, cradling the back of his head after pushing him down so that he descends softly to the floor. This is all fine and good when laid-back Owen is in a happy mood, but if he’s already borderline fussy he hates to be put to his back like a flailing turtle. And I have to swoop down and bring crying Owen back to sitting.
I’ll remind Will not to push Owen down, and he’ll say “I wasn’t pushing him; I was CATCHING him.”
He also enjoys laying himself immediately in Owen's path, like some insurmountable obstacle for the just-trying-to-crawl kid.
We are every day sinking deeper and deeper into that strange brotherly love-antagonism that seems to characterize so many male sibling relationships – or maybe it’s just sibling relationships in general. And I find myself talking with Will daily about strategies for keeping Owen happy and our responsibilities as big people living with a little person who can’t quite fend for himself. Sometimes Will looks me in the eyes and agrees and proves himself to be quite the little helper – other times he shuts his eyes and laughs. And then I know we're headed for battle.
Any strategies for instilling peace in a house with big mobile, grabby babies and young children who can run, push and pester? I imagine I’ll be needing them more and more.