Diary of a Dad: Week 13 - The Best of Friends?by Adam Riches
When you have a child your world changes - I guess that goes without saying really. Something you may sometimes overlook is that if you have other children, their lives significantly change too.
It’s not that you don’t think about it, it’s just that it’s hard sometimes when everything is so busy. In your head, you try to keep things as similar as you can for them, but in reality, life becomes very different.
We’ve found our oldest little boy, at the ripe age of 3, has been through some serious phases of adjustment since his brother has come along. The baby is 6 months old now so we’ve seen lots of different behaviours and it’s been a rollercoaster at times!
At first, the excitement of the baby arriving was top on the toddler’s list of things to talk about. How’s he getting here? How long? Which day? It was cute and obviously, he didn’t have any real concept of what having a brother entailed. He’d met babies and gave them kisses etc but the fact he had his own plaything on the way, in his mind, was amazing.
Their first meeting was just as we’d imagined. The birth hadn’t quite gone to plan and the second the baby met his brother and they had their first cuddle it all seemed to fall into place. Our oldest couldn’t stop telling everyone about the baby’s special cot, his hat and how cute he was.
As with any kind of relationship, the honeymoon period soon wore off. It’s funny how quickly a best friend becomes an intruder! There’s so much to deal with when a new baby arrives for everyone, but for a toddler, it must be overwhelming.
I think the hardest bit has been the testing phase. The whole having to look over your shoulder to see what’s happening. It’s the, let’s see if he can catch, kind of game that always starts so nicely and ends up in tears. The other thing is the “loving” cuddles that resemble Thai boxing clinches, accompanied by the shrill, “But I love him!!”
Learning and adjusting takes a bit of time and it took us a bit of telling off too, but having said, “Be kind!” 9000000 times, we’ve really turned a corner.
Sometimes when I look over and the big one is passing the little one toys, my heart melts. When he’s comforting him when he’s crying, when I catch them smiling at each other, when they play a little game, it’s just brilliant.
I’m sure we’re in for a life of ups and downs, but for now, I’ll just take no kicking and no punching.
Having more than one child is stressful at times, but seeing them together is priceless. People keep asking if we are going to have more...and I’m pretty sure it’s a yes!