Yes, we knew about it. And we seemed to be prepared. But, as everybody else, we are not!
While in maternity with Maria we were told that Maria should enter into Ilaria's life by offering her a gift.
Here it is
(a car with Pluto as driver)
So Maria was welcomed and accepted very well.
And, from this point of view, everything was just fine in our Wonderland:
We involved Ilaria in rising Maria, as much as possible.
Siblings rivalry was a funny term until now. And it happened to others, not to us.
* A friend of mine was caught by her mother when she was 4 years old trying to suffocate her newly-born brother by using a pillow.
* My mother was taking advantage off any unsupervised moment. When my grandmother was coming back into the house from where she had to go, she was finding my mother's fingerprints on her 1 year and 4 months younger brother's cheeks
* my sister, 5 years older than me, told my mother once: "Let's make a deal. This one (that's how she was speaking about me) should belong to father from now on. And I should belong to you."
* I also begrudged my sister, because my parents were allowing her to educate me. Many times, during meals, she was making me cry by criticizing me, our parents beside us!
Now, here, siblings pure love seemed to have lasted not even 2 months!
Lately, Ilaria wants to sleep in baby's crib. She wants to keep Maria's pacifier. She wants to empty Maria's bottle - tea or milk, doesn't matter. She wants to play with Maria's toys. She wants to stay into Maria's carriage or on the suckle pillow exactly when we want to use them for Maria.
Ilaria is still kissing and hugging Maria, but, lately, in a more tough way.
And yesterday Ilaria kicked Maria by using a diaper and bare handed too! It was a gray day for us and a heartbreaking one...
But how did we reach this point without even notice it?? From tenderness to violence in less than 2 months.
Apart from the normal jealousy, raised from having to share the resources between Ilaria and the "intruder" called Maria, we realized there are some other reasons too...
For sure sometimes Ilaria is disturbed by Maria's endless cry. She mentions a lot our "crying baby", especially when she speaks on the phone with her grandmother Maria.
Here "speaking" on the digital thermometer! with Daddy, who was at the office:
(she was pressing buttons and the thermometer was beeping)
Ilaria: "Hallo! Hallo! Daddy!? Baby is crying. Daddy, Maria is crying."
Me: "Ilaria, please listen carefully. Maria is sleeping now. She is not crying anymore. So, you have to speak with Daddy about something else."
so she totally changed the subject into:
Ilaria: "Daddy! Daddy! Maria is not crying now."
And we did some M.I.S.T.A.K.E.S or mistakes too:
- few times, while Ilaria was having fun outside, in the park: "We have to go home, Ilaria! Maria is crying." or "We have to go home, Ilaria!. Maria will be hungry soon" or "We have to go home, Ilaria! Maria is freezing."
- "Ilaria, you have to be quiet, not to disturb Maria. She is sleeping."
- Ilaria's favorite movie now is "Babies" (2010). One of her favorites scenes is the one where the mogul big brother is kicking his younger brother with a blouse. I didn't realize this could be more harmful than educative. She was asking to watch this scene again and again. I was fulfilling her wish, always telling her "this is something bad. He shouldn't do this to his little brother" and sometimes... laughing on the situation.
The lesson of sharing won't be an easy one for Ilaria, that's for sure. And this is probably just the beginning of a longtime running process..
In the meantime we, the parents, should probably educate ourselves a little bit more by reading this book.
What's your experience related to siblings rivalry? I would be glad to hear about it!