Yep, one day they were the very best of friends, enjoying each other’s company and the very next, one was crying because the other one was getting attention and all hell seems to have broken loose 😒
When Felix arrived I was so very aware of the impact on Pops and made sure that visitors greeted her before greeting the new baby. Even when we were in hospital I made sure the baby was in the crib before she arrived to meet him for the first time…
And it worked a treat. She adjusted to having him around FOREVER and really adored being a big sister. We have had the odd blip but this has mostly been when the focus has shifted entirely on to Felix but we’ve recognised the problem and pretty much instantly adjusted our behaviour and normality has been restored fairly quickly.
The problem isn’t, however, with Poppy. All of a sudden Felix has become incredibly jealous of my attention towards Poppy. If she hurts herself and I give her a cuddle he races to me in floods of tears and tries to pull her off me. He isn’t aggressive but he is pretty darn strong.
A week or so ago he managed to engage all his Daddy rugby training and implement a stiff-arm fend (or palm-off as Daddy calls it) to Poppy’s face, pushing it squarely into a hard wooden chair-back. Soooooooo much more crying ensued from both of them and quite frankly the reaction was so farcical from Felix it was actually hilarious. I know laughing probably is the worst thing to do in those situations but sometimes, whilst holding two hysterically crying children with one grappling to remove the other from your arms, if you didn’t laugh you’d cry!
This new found jealousy seems to have come with an emergence of character and mischief so I wonder if it is all linked to boundary pushing and seeing just how much attention he can garner and just how much mischief he can get away with. I have to admit, it’s better than the poo-gates that Poppy used to create for attention so ever cloud and all that 🙈😷 FYI, the poo-gates got soooo much worse than shown in this post but honestly, the proof 💩 is just too disgusting for the internet so we’re saving them up for her 18th/21st/wedding/any social gathering where she’s old enough to be embarrassed.
A couple of things. I’m trying to be completely consistent and not give him additional attention, negative or positive, in response to the jealousy. I’ve done a little bit of researching and there seems to be a common occurrence in 14 month old’s with older siblings.
I have however realised that I actually don’t spend much quality time with him. When Poppy is at nursery that is my work time so he may well be in the house but I try to keep him occupied by any means necessary apart from actually engaging in play with him. This results in him constantly vying for my attentions either with the computer or, I realise, his sister.
Cue major parent guilt.
So, I’ve changed the way I behave with him when it’s our one-on-one time. I now dedicate his waking time to play where I’ll actually read him books, play blocks and dare I say it, teach him one or two things?! 🙈 Wow, I have really been a different parent this time around. It’s amazing the child isn’t more damaged!
This of course puts extra pressures on my time else where but I’ve realised that one of the most important aspects of making a self employment/parenting juggle achievable is that there doesn’t seem to be a constant state. Everything is always shifting and changing and I’m sure it will shift in another unforeseen direction before I’ve got this worked out.
Thankfully the changes I’ve made seem to have already made a difference already so we shall see!
If you have any sibling and/or working parent tips I’d be so grateful to receive them 💗