I have had an extremely rough and trying day. I am skipping any question answering for today and am going to pour out my story for you and ask for some pointers, advice, ideas or just plain old sympathy!
My middle child is .... difficult. He has a speech delay and some behavioral issues. He also has sleep problems and night terrors. You can read more about any of this here and here. When we had the new baby I really expected major issues of jealousy. But he was wonderful! He rarely acted jealous and he seemed to really love and enjoy his brother.
Fast forward to about a month ago.... three weeks ago. Ever since the baby quit nursing, The Boy has been having fits about his brother being on me. I don't know if he has all of a sudden decided that he is not a "baby" anymore and so he is a rival now... or if it is just because he is walking and climbing and playing more now so seems like a "threat" to the Boy. Who knows what goes through their heads? Certainly not me! There has been a lot of shoving and pulling and fighting over moms lap and basic bickering for the last little bit. I do my best to keep them from fighting too bad and accept that boys will be boys. The Baby is an instigator and will start a fight just to get his brother in trouble. I am not kidding. I had to institute a rule that if either one of them starts crying, they both get punished.
So, today I am standing int he kitchen at the bar, clipping coupons, blah blah blah. The boys are in the living room about 20 feet from me, playing. I hear this weird gurgling noise and look up.
The Boy had a plastic bag wrapped around the Baby's neck and was trying to strangle him. The Baby was hitting him and trying to get away.
I hollered and started to run in there. The Boy dropped the bag and ran. he knew he was in trouble. he knew he had done something wrong.
The Baby was fine. He was coughing and choking but seemed fine. I picked him up and checked him over closely and he calmed down really fast and went back to playing. Then I had to go get The Boy.
I was so upset that I was shaking. I was sooooo ANGRY with him. I could not trust myself to touch him, hardly, because I was scared that I would hurt him. I picked him up and made him look at his brother and told him what he had done wrong. Then I took him back to his bedroom, put him in the bed, told him not to move until i came and got him, shut the door, picked up the baby, cried, called my mom and smoked a cigarette.
When I went in to get the Boy a little bit later he was crying hysterically. I got him calmed down and told him he needed to hug his brother and tell him he was sorry for hurting him before he could come out of his room. It took me ten minutes of talking to him to get him to go hug his brother. Then they seemed OK and we went back to playing. With mommy watching them a lot closer.
Throughout the rest of the day today I witnessed, stopped and punished the following:
The Boy sitting on his brother's back - 3 times
The Boy standing on his brother - once
The Boy kicking his brother - 4 times
The Boy pushing his brother off of the couch - once
The Boy hitting his brother with a keyboard - once
The Boy shoving, hitting and otherwise injuring his brother in the process of taking away any toy the Baby might have been trying to play with - at least 10 times
The Boy pushing his brother off of my lap and taking his place - every damn time I picked up the baby
And it goes on and on.
Obviously, this is a jealousy issue. And also a boy thing. And maybe a little bit of just being 2. And partly a result of his sleep issues/ over tiredness.
But what can I do? I am actually really scared to leave them in a room together now without me being right there. If they had been in their bedroom this morning I would never have known what happened and who KNOWS what would have happened?
Any suggestions on how to defuse the jealousy? When The Boy starts 3 year old pre-k in August, I have a feeling it will get much better. But until then..... I am at my wit's end with these boys. I think I need to go re-dye my hair.... about a million gray hairs popped into being today....