Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Angry Love

Everyone always worried about how older siblings will adjust to when a new baby comes home. For the most part, when Piper was born, Bryce and Caroline were great. They wanted to hold her all the time and were very happy to help. I know there have been times when one or both of them have felt that they weren't getting enough attention but we do our best to spread it around.

However in recent weeks, we're starting to see some things with Caroline that we really don't like. While I don't think she's truly trying to hurt/injure Piper, she isn't being very nice. Ever since Piper could roll around, Caroline has LOVED to lay on the floor with her and pull her up on top of her. Piper will tolerate this for a little while but gets tired of it quickly and starts screaming. Often, it ends with Caroline partly laying on Piper or Piper getting into some weird position that she can't get out of and Caroline ignoring her screams. (Bryce does this with his constant desire to hug Piper a lot lately.)

Jay and I keep telling them, "If Piper is screaming it means she's NOT happy. It's her way of saying NO!" We quiz them on this allllll the time.

But aside from the way they both seem to constantly want to touch her, Caroline's been displaying some other behaviors we don't like very much. For example the other night, I was gearing up to play Wii Bowling with Bryce and Caroline while Jason was working on something so we put Piper in the exercsaucer to occupy her and keep her out of the way. One minute Caroline is standing next to her and the next minute I look over and Caroline is PULLING her hair and Piper is screaming.

Then last night, Jason was watching all 3 kids in the playroom while I cleaned up dinner. Piper was crawling around and I guess she stopped to partially sit/kneel and Jason said Caroline kind of put her foot up to knock Piper over.

In both cases, Piper wasn't hurt (she didn't even cry the 2nd time) but we do NOT like this new behavior from Caroline. On one hand, she loves Piper - she wants to take baths with her, dress alike, get into her crib with her, and play with her. But on the other, it's like she wants to experiment with her. She wants to see what she can get away with and how much it might take to hurt her. Clearly, this is unacceptable behavior at our house and we've followed up with these incidents with Caroline with our usual discipline, but it doesn't make it any less bothersome.

Although I will say this, I remember as a kid (probably around Caroline's age) that sometimes I liked "trying" stuff with babies/younger kids too. I'd never want to hurt them or anything like that- I just wanted to see what would happen. Makes me wonder if Caroline is up to this kind of fact finding too.


Katie said...

Ditto for Emily with Lucy. She says she wants to hug Lucy b/c she loves her so much, but then she'll grab her and tackle her to the floor, full well hearing that Lucy is screaming. Then she won't let go of Lucy and will squeeze her, while listening to the screaming.

I think it's a form of sibling rivalry, but a normal phase.

Poor pipes. Younger sisters have it rough sometimes

Krissy said...

Sounds like the needing attention phase of that older sibling when the youngest gets truely mobile. Or it could just be a development too with C. Trevor really acted out at school and a little at Gwen at home, but I freaked out so much...then was told this is when they really hit the adjustment. Good luck!

Dawn said...

I have been so bad about reading up on blogs lately! But am reading a bit to catch up now and wanted to chime in and say that Maddie does this on occasion, too. She totally gets in Lyla's face every once in a while, and even when she's playing she just pushes Lyla too far sometimes. Also, she loves to hug and kiss her - but often she will do it with what we call her "mean face," where she's actually gritting her teeth while she's doing it. Really nice!! So you're not alone...