Oliver and Evie have always gotten along a pretty well. She obviously loves him very much, and for his part, he generally puts up with the abuse. When he got old enough to take an interest in her toys, things went downhill a little bit, but it was still okay. Now, however…I think it is a combination between his greater mobility and interest in objects in general, and her realization of just how much attention he gets, or how much attention she *doesn’t* get.
I tell you, it gives me a much greater appreciation for what it is like to be a younger sibling. I feel like I owe my sister an apology! It’s not just that they get beat up, although they do, but it’s more all the things that they don’t get that the older sibling got. Especially just in terms of amount of attention paid, or amount of one-on-one time. And you just can’t help thinking about him without comparing him to your older child.
With Evie I felt like we just spent the whole time holding our breath, waiting for her to do the next amazing thing. With Oliver, it’s almost like he’ll do something and then I’ll be like, “Oh yeah, that’s amazing, I almost forgot. When Evie did that, I jumped on the blog and put it up immediately.” Evie never had to share the limelight for her big achievements.
The ironic thing is that, in a few years, Evie is going to be annoyed with Oliver wanting to do what she’s doing, following her around, copying her, etc. But right now, it’s exactly the opposite! Any toy Oliver grabs, she has to have it, even if she’s never shown the slightest interest in it before. We will watch Oliver walk over and pull a toy out of the toy box, and then Evie will shout from across the room, “I had it first!”
The past few weeks, whenever Oliver is getting any kind of attention, Evie has to insert herself in there. And 3 year olds are not subtle. If Oliver is crying, she starts fake crying. If we’re taking a video of him, Evie tries to stand in front of the camera. If we’re just not paying attention to her, she will just punch her brother in the face.
Obviously this stuff is not acceptable, but on the other hand, I totally understand where she is coming from. I really feel bad for her. I try to make sure to give her attention when I notice that we are giving him some attention, or when she gets that look in her eye like she is going to push him over.
But isn’t this just another way that older sibling have it better? When she was little, she got all the attention. Now, when it’s Oliver’s turn to get some attention, we have to remember to give her *more* attention, so she doesn’t get upset. It seems like it’s not fair to Oliver, but I guess that’s just the way it is.
So, Rachael, if the 3 year old version of me treated you even a little bit the way Evie treats Oliver, then I apologize completely!