Every parent hopes that their children will grow to love their siblings and be life-long best friends. Looks like things have started to come together quite nicely for Melissa’s beautiful little girls…
A marvelous milestone has taken place in our home. Five-year-old Lucy and two-year-old Daphne are playing. Together. Without constant supervision. This is a moment we have been looking forward to since we made the crazy decision to try for a second child.
Every parent wonders how the sibling dynamic will be before a new baby shifts the well-established balance of the parents, one kid triangle. Will the older kid be jealous? Probably. Will the younger sibling idolize big brother or sister? Most definitely. Will the older sibling protect the baby? Good chance.
Here is how it works for us, two and a half years in: Lucy adores Daphne, and thinks she is the cutest baby ever. Except when she takes her stuff, clutching it with her tiny fingers, while shouting “Mine!” Daphne idolizes Lucy and cannot bear to be away from her big sister. She asks for her the moment we lift her from the crib in the morning. But she gets very easily offended, in typical 2-year-old fashion, when Lucy denies her any given object or tries to restrict her in any way. She runs to one of us, sobbing the most heartbreaking sobs. “What happened, baby?”, we ask. The answer: “Lucy did it.” Daphne is tiny – a former micro preemie, she is very small for her age but can definitely hold her own. She has been known to throw objects with very good aim and to charge at her sister with claws and teeth out. Needless to say, this dynamic can get exhausting for us parents.
And yet, in the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a change. They are spending more and more time together, doing their thing. Perhaps because Daphne is (slightly) more mature and can participate in Lucy’s imaginative play, or because Lucy is happy to have a tiny sidekick keeping her company and admiring her ideas, they have started retreating into Lucy’s room to play. They don’t beg for our presence, and they stay there for increasing periods of time. We hear giggles and activity. Lucy is clearly leading the play, setting up scenarios and telling Daphne what to do. Daphne plays along. Sure, there’s also the occasional piercing cry of “Mine!”, but they often resolve their differences without parental refereeing.
What have we done to encourage this? I am not sure. I am overjoyed, and already trying to come up with ways to fill my time until the dynamic shifts again. Soon they will be fighting over clothes.
– Melissa, Catching Up with Daphne