Friday, April 27, 2012

Friends and Enemies

Now that Elliot is older and more interactive, Kendra enjoys getting to actually play with him on a regular basis.

This was the scene that played out one afternoon while I was in the kitchen taking care of some things:

She really seems to get a kick out of making him laugh, which is endearing to me.  Not to mention a huge help as you wouldn't believe how much of our housework gets done with this guy either sitting on my hip or hauled around in our backpack baby carrier.

Twice a year there are a couple of community consignment sales where I stock up for the kids' clothes and whatever toys I find that strike my fancy for cheap.  I walk out with at least my big Ikea bag full to the brim and more and I've never spent more than just over $100 for nearly full seasons' worth of wardrobes for both kids.  I find a lot of great stuff and can really stretch our budget (seriously, there are going to be some ca-YOOT pictures on this blog this summer)--I wouldn't even be able buy more than a handful of outfits for each of our kids at Wal-Mart for that price.  Coming home with so many clothes, however, I always have a giant pile of hangers that the clothes were hung on for the sale.  I was surprised to see what happened to them:

But, it's not just all fun and games around here.  For all intents and purposes and in spite of the fun they sometimes have together, Elliot is still Kendra's baby brother.  And sometimes, curious baby brothers can be downright annoying, amIright?  So I do understand that he frustrates her sometimes (sometimes a lot), and I think that's pretty normal.  But her instinctual way of dealing with those annoying moments can be rather...physically aggressive in a way I'd rather she temper.  So I've been teaching her alternatives to just pushing him down and yelling at him.

If he has a toy she wants, she knows that she has to give him something else before yanking it out of his hands.  If he approaches her while she's playing with something that she wants to play with by herself, she knows that she has to take the playing up to a level he can't reach like on the couch or up to the table or to a room where she can shut the door and play by herself.

But sometimes, she finds herself in a situation that she can't resolve on her own.  For those cases, I've taught her a phrase to get my attention so that I know she needs some help.

Yep, you heard us right.  I've totally taught her to say, "Mom, Elliot's buggin' me..." so that I know to come intervene, mostly because the alternative is usually a form of violence, and that I prefer to avoid.

And I reckon that those words are actually a fairly accurate way to articulate what she's feeling in those moments...

I guess learning how to deal with siblings is just part of life, and I'm actually really grateful that it's part of their lives.  Even though he bugs her sometimes, Elliot clearly enriches her life and our whole family dynamic with his sweet personality.

I sure am the luckiest mommy in the whole wide world...


Jacqueline said...

What a sweet slice of your life to see. The interactions are precious.

Danielle said...

Awwwww! My favorite is "Elliot's buggin' me." Adorable!

Laura said...

Ohhhhh, Elliot looks so cute with his glasses! I love it!!!! It's so amazing to see how mobile he is! Brianna needs to take some lessons. ;) I love the video with the two of them playing between the easel. So cute.