I am kinda struggling with this one.
Caitlin, in general is sweet to her younger brother Caleb. Since she was able to walk, she’d been fascinated by other humans her size. So, I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that she is so, to her little brother.
However, having been the only child for her first 3 years, the first grandchild at HM’s family side (Caitlin makes the 14th grandchild on my side!) I dare say she is kinda “spoiled” in that she’d be used to being the sole attention-getter.
For myself, I have made a conscious effort to be conscious of how she may feel when this happens. Especially when relatives are “re-living” having a rugrat and who’s just learned how to walk, Caleb has been getting all the attention of “How cute!”, “Look how he likes to walk in circles / spins / tiny stamping feet..”, Caitlin has been “relegated” to be the second favourite.
Touchwood- so far she doesn’t seem to be showing any ill feelings towards her brother as a result. The only hint of jealousy that I can readily observe, is when either is holding onto a toy and the other will want it (yes, only when the other has it!), or when one is embracing Grandma, the other wants to rush over for the same… the same doesn’t seem to apply to Daddee though! Caitlin embraces Daddee and Caleb is like “Ho hum ah well now what was I doing again?”
When this happens, I try my best that the other also gets the “equal opportunity”; either by embracing both, getting them to share, or even a simple look over to Caitlin offering her a reassuring smile. She usually reciprocates with one too, which is always heart-warming for Daddee. One thing I gotta do reverse too, is that in the mornings and evenings Caitlin rides with me in the front, with Caleb in the baby seat in the back with the helper. I spend most if not all of that time chatting with Caitlin on just about anything, whilst Caleb is kinda left on his own ogling at the window to the world zooming past.
One thing that I am a little impatient waiting for, is for Caleb to soon understand and speak more for us to also rationalise with him, so that Caitlin is not always the one having to give in; which she does now “because he doesn’t understand; and you’re the jie-jie..”
But that of course also means that Caitlin will no longer be the 4 year old that she is now, and that Caleb would have outgrown his current Royal Cuteness…. sigh.
How was your experience with growing up with a sibling, either as a younger and/or older one? How did your parents manage your different characters?