Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Best Brother

On Saturday my husband and I were in the bathroom, getting ready for a day out and about with the family. Ethan and Abby were already dressed and playing--or fighting--in his room.

A knock on the bathroom door.

"Mommy?"

"Yes, Ethan," I said in my kindest what's-going-on-now voice.

"Abby is annoying me. I'm trying to clean my room and she just won't shut up. She's going on and on and on--"

Gee, like someone else I know. "What does her talking have to do with you cleaning your room? She misses you, buddy, just ignore her and clean your room."

Shoulders slouched, head down, he marched back to his room.

Fighting continued.

"What's wrong with them?" I asked my husband who was standing behind me, checking himself in the mirror.

Instead of saying They're kids or They're brats or We're bad parents he tried to break down why they act the way they do. I'll spare you the details. God I love that man.

A door slammed. Feet pounded down the hallway.

I glanced at my wet hair--whatever! My hair rarely sees the blowdryer on the weekends anymore--then followed the sound of slamming doors.

Ethan's door was closed. "Knock, knock," I said. "Where's your sister?"

"I don't know," he said, with a touch of annoyance.

I'll deal with that later.

Opening Abby's door, I found her room empty, but heard little pouts escape her closet. Opening that door, I found Abby, sitting on her feet, arms crossed over her chest.

"Hi, Abby. What's the matter?" I asked.

She scooted on her knees a little further away from me. "He's supposed to be my best brother." She picked up some strange little piece of black plastic from the floor and threw it at the wall. "Hmph."

"Oh, baby, he is your best brother." Nevermind her only brother.

"No. He's mean. He doesn't love me." She's four, I'm not making this up.

"Of course he loves you, he's just tired is all. You do have a tendency to talk a lot and he was trying to clean his room. Were you being his best sister?"

Tears!

"Oh, Abby, come here." I grabbed her and pulled her into my lap, then plotted out what I was going to say to my son.

You need to learn to get along. She loves you. You need to love her. You need to realize you are almost seven years older. You need to be her best brother. You need to be more understanding. I didn't know, but what I did know was me holding Abby was enough to calm her down.

In the end, I pulled Ethan aside and told him this story. I didn't try to put some message behind it in hopes they'd magically get along, I just told him how she felt about him and in return he gave her a hug and said he was sorry.

So, remember, no matter how annoying, how frustrating, how whatever your sister or brother is to you, always be the best brother or sister to them.

6 comments:

  1. Sound advice indeed, Krystal. But I'm still laughing over the line "Instead of saying, They're kids or They're brats or We're bad parents". Ha ha! Good on Ethan for giving his little sister a hug and saying sorry. Many wouldn't you know? Have you seen Supernanny!?

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  2. Awe, this is sooooo sweet. I wish more people saw children the way you do. <3 <3 <3

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  3. You have done a much better job than me. My kids, even baby beast call each other poohead, smelly cow, hate her/him the list is endless. I think ur house sounds quite serene & calm in comparison. As I write this baby beast is still awake shouting I hate daddy he put soap on my toys... Pls someone rescue me. Sorry I'm not here for therapy lol. I love ur story I think ur family sound great (grass is always greener envy). U sound like ur a really patient mum and the Way the kids love each other is so sweet. I'm off to ring Supernanny!

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  4. I'm dying! YOu call your baby "baby beast"! I call my youngest my red-headed monster.

    And I also find it funny how you think my time with the kids is calm. It's not. I just choose to post about the more serene moments with them.

    Thanks everyone for commenting.

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  5. We don't have serene moments we communicate via shouting lol. Baby beast is now 5 going to have to think of a new title he hates the baby bit ;)

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  6. Sound advice, and honestly, I think it's great that they want to love and be loved by each other - way better than the tantrums and "I hate you's" of sibling rivalry.

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