It was 9:00 am, my hands were covered in raw chicken that I was trying to get into the crockpot, & Matteo once again snatched a toy away from Julian. Normally I would intervene. Normally I would go over & make Matteo give the toy back. Normally I would console Julian. But since I couldn’t touch anything at the moment, I decided to wait & see what would happen…
Julian flopped to the ground & started crying. Matteo yelled “it’s mine!” Julian grabbed Matteo’s pant leg & gave him the pouty eyes. Matteo softened his voice & said, “but I want to play with this toy.” Julian cooed at Matteo while patting his leg. Matteo handed the toy back & said, “okay okay… you can have it back.”
It was a lesson & reminder to me that I can let them work things out more often. Yes, Matteo may be rough with his little brother, but he also has a soft spot for him. Yes, Julian is only 10 months old, but he also knows how to fend for himself (quite well, I might add!)
It was much easier to be hands-off & not intervene as much with Matteo when he was a baby. He mostly interacted with age-appropriate toys, babies his own age (& size), & I was only responsible for his safety & emotional well-being. Now with two kiddos, it becomes much harder. I don’t want Matteo to constantly be on the receiving end of discipline. But I also don’t think it’s fair that Julian doesn’t have the opportunity to explore his environment without being yelled at & knocked over by big brother.
On the other hand, Julian has the benefits of always having a playmate. He is so social that I think he would be a mess if he didn’t always have big brother around – even if that means that he never gets to play with the toys he wants in peace.
I do understand that this phase will pass & eventually they will be able to play side by side & then cooperatively together. & in the mean time I will work on being a little more hands-off during this stage as well… for everyone’s sake.