Without doubt the hardest thing about adding a second child to our family has been the sibling dynamics. At first, the dramatic decline in Heike’s behaviour as she realised she was no longer the centre of our world. The hitting, the smothering, the staging of dramatic tantrums the moment her brother needed attention. It was expected, but worse than expected.
While that has eased now that Walt has grown, it’s still a constant juggling act. We went to Disneyland with a friend and her kids last week, and when our younger ones fell asleep we joked that it isn’t only twice as easy looking after just one – it’s three, four times easier. Hard to explain but so true. I am not even at the point where I can begin imagining what three, four kids would be like! I’m guessing at that point you just embrace the chaos.
Some days I feel like they are always fighting. He took my fairy, she took my drink bottle, he’s in my room, she won’t let me play in her room. Hitting, biting, pushing, punching. Sometimes I feel like locking them in a room and letting them tear each other apart. But it’s usually at that point that they dissolve into laughter and go back to being best friends.
Because that’s the other thing. They are best friends. I honestly don’t know what they would do all day without each other to play with, fight with, learn with and just generally torment me with. It’s fun to watch them, to see how different they are and yet how alike they are, with their big voices and their green eyes and their mousy hair.
The absolute best thing, the most rewarding thing, about being a Mum is seeing your kids get along. It makes it all worth it, to feel that they’ve got a friend, an ally in the big bad world. It definitely makes me want to reach out to my own siblings, for my Mum’s sake. It also explains why she gets so weirdly happy whenever my brother makes the seemingly herculean effort to pick up the phone and call me, and I’ve decided to stop teasing her about that.
So yes, the dynamics between two kids are challenging and the arguments can feel neverending and apparently it only gets worse. But it is so, so worth it.