Raising Siblings to be Friends
Siblings play together, without a parent around, from the beginning, right? Wrong! I had no clue how long it would take. I am so grateful my kids are finally there. I mean, finally! Yay! It seems like it’s been forever. I had no idea just how tough it would be to raise two kids who are only 15 months apart. We actually thought it would be easier, and I think it will be when they’re older.
I’m not complaining, really. But right now, as much as I love them, there are many, many days when I want to tear my hair out; when I feel like I’m breaking down.
And then, out of nowhere, they do something that allows me the chance to breathe.
When Toddlers Play Together
Case in point, this past weekend. My husband and I were watching HGTV in our living room and the kids were in the playroom. We noticed it got really quiet — too quiet. Something must be going down in the playroom, right? I quietly got up, snuck around the corner, and peeked into the playroom, trying to catch them in the act.
Guess what I found? Rocco was quietly reading a book to Gigi. I almost screamed and messed the whole thing up. OK, it wasn’t technically reading. He’s only 3. He was more like reciting one of his favorite Eric Carle books that he has memorized because I had read it to him so many times.
This is the first moment in three years where I finally feel like I can take a breath – a really quick shallow breath, but a breath nonetheless. I could breathe because they played, uninterrupted, and on their own.
Usually, when we left them to play by themselves they tried to turn on the light switches, play with the ceiling fan switch, climb on top of their little table, rearrange furniture, dump entire bins of toys on the ground — just doing normal, but annoying kid things.
Words fail to express to how happy and proud I felt in that moment, seeing them playing quietly with each other. I would have bet you that my heart was going to burst with love.
“Red bird, red bird, what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me.” Gigi quietly listened as Rocco read the entire book and then, being the insatiable reader she is, quickly handed him another one to read to her.
The Bond Between Brothers and Sisters
I’ve noticed a lot more moments like this recently. I worried that having a boy and a girl would mean they might not be very close. I don’t have a brother, so what do I know? My friends reassured me that opposite sex siblings could be very good friends too.
Obviously, there are no guarantees that my babies will remain good friends. I know they are going to have plenty of moments when they are anything but. I just hope, in the long run, that they love, respect and appreciate each other.
So far, I think we are doing a good job of raising siblings to be friends.
Are your kids good friends? How did you deal with all the madness of the toddler years?