When I told my father I was expecting my second child he said, “Oh, good. I’m so glad Megan will have a sibling with whom to have a rivalry.” I laughed then, but it wasn’t so funny in the years ahead when the screaming and door slamming were going on. We lived through it though. And then my own children started their families and they both had two children. The picture above epitomizes to me the complete disgust with which the first child greets the second child. This was taken the day we brought this young man’s little brother home from the hospital. What is so remarkable is not an hour earlier he had been so excited about the whole thing. Thinking we were forgetting his “lil’ brudder” he had been wildly banging the bassinet into the walls in the hall trying to get it to the elevator. It wasn’t until we hit the car and he settled in and got a moment to consider that he must have realized that this squirming little human being was coming home with us and, really, who needed him?
We took care to not fawn over the new one and pay attention to the elder one, but the sibling rivalry reared its ugly head anyway. It is just amazing to me what two little boys can think of to torture each other.
So, take heart all you brave parents that have decided to have your second. You too will have those moments when looking for the “off switch” on your children becomes an obsession.