Friday, May 16, 2008

Need A New Dye Job

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....


Laura ~Peach~ said...

is there someone who can keep the baby for a couple hours once in a while so you can have one on one time with the boy? my kids are hellish with sibling rivalry and have been since they were babies, she seemed to chill some when he went to school, but then he got worse now hes a working adult and she is the pill... cory was on ritalin for years and it helped with his lack of sleep issues and in ability to control himself... he is ADHD though.

Jen said...

Wow, Mama...You didn't tell me that your day was that bad! All I heard about was the bag incident!

If it makes you feel any better, my week hasn't been that great, either...

The Not So Simple Things In Life said...

Oh my goodness, now you got me going back 13 years in time....hearing about this incident reminds me of one that I had with my daughter when she was 3. She was very jealous of her brother...she was a pretty smart kid...she talked very well for her age and let me know how she felt about her brother and it was nothing good. BUT one day while they were napping I layed on the couch next to my son....within minutes my daughter was standing over us with a knife saying she wanted her brother to go away! I flipped, I could not believe what she had done.

I called Social Services on my own for some help, she then went to a mental health clinic and was put on ridilin which helped her alot, within a year I took her off it and haven't had a problem since.

Now with my kids ages being 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 13 and 15 you would think there is alot of jealousy but there isn't. I am going to email you and maybe even give you a call today!

Our 8 year old is ummm a very hyper child who doesn't think twice about hitting when he is angry, even when he isn't but be expecting a call from me sometime before 3pm!

Anonymous said...

Its hard I know. My kids FIGHT all the time. ALL THE TIME! Like Laura suggested, one on one time is great. Sometimes I take J to just run errands with me and leave little J at home. I take Little J to playgroups while J is in school. We have also instituted a lot of "timers" into our routine. Toys have a 10 second rule if the kids are fighting and not sharing. they each get to hold a toy for 10 seconds and then have to give it to the other it keeps going until one decides it isn't worth it anymore.
For time with me and hubby, I sometimes have to sit so that there is room on either side of me. Or they get to take turns picking books and the kid who picked gets to sit IN my lap.

The little one can be the instigator a lot. He knows exactly which buttons to push. But J is the more violent of the two and can't let his anger or frustration go until he gets in the last "lick." As you know medications and therapy have been a God send to us. Also, I am looking into play therapy, which will help work out the anger and frustration. (You can look up some of the techniques on line to get an idea of things to do at home.)

Lesley said...

Wow - there's some great ideas here!
My oldest has had severe speech and developmental delays and I've always worried that his younger brother would resent the extra time we have to spend with him. But he doesn't. I've got a super huge grin on my face as I type this - it's amazing how much Alex does for Joey, he seems to sense that Joey's needier and he's always willing to compromise in Joey's favour. It's not fair and we don't always let Joey have his way but it makes me so proud that his younger brother is so in touch with his feelings.
Hope next week is much better!

Jessica said...

You poor thing. I don't have any good answers. Just these last couple of weeks I have been dumbfounded by Lil' Bum's reactions to her brother. She does things to purposely make him fall, pushes him, takes things away from him and other. I caught her the other day squeezing his hand so hard it was red. She is still very caring but I think like you said that he is more on her terms now. I hate to admit this but I wish he would fight back. We both have some things to figure out with our kids. Oh, let me not forget that Baby Bum has figured out how to push his sister and scream when he doesn't get his way.

Bina said...

Oh no. This scares me. I mean REALLY scares because I can only imagine if you hadn't been close to hear what was going on. I think all siblings fight, MOST of the time! But this? He may or may not have known how dangerous it is, but I would definitely try to get some professional help, from someone who is more qualifed to offer suggestions.

I have a friend that has four kids. When her baby was born, her four year kept saying she hated the baby and wanted it dead. She would try to spray windex in her face, said she was going to hit her in the head with a hammer, and man, the list goes on and on! The 4 year old was by a different man and she had to send her to live with her real father until the baby got older. Very sad, but she had to protect the baby.

I'm not saying your little man is THAT extreme, but yea, something needs to be done.

Nana The Nana said...

Not anything else I can say about those things. Hope it gets better. I wonder if he acts out with the baby because he can't get him to understand him and gets frustrated with him? I love you. Mom