Love Hate

love hate: boys-new-trainers

I remember when EJ was first born and the seemingly massive gap of almost three years between the two boys; wondering how it might ever be possible for them to one day be friends and partners in crime. The difference between a baby and a pre-schooler is massive – their needs so varied. Yet within a relatively short period of time EJ has grown up to the point where he is now a school boy himself at the tender age of four – and both boys now attend the same school two years apart.

I am their primary carer so I spend the most amount of time with them and I get to witness the whole gamut of their sibling relationship – from love to hate and back again.

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My siblings in April

This morning I heard JJ – obviously having shot EJ with one of the new Nerf guns – saying “are you alright EJ?” and EJ crying and JJ saying “I’m really sorry EJ, do you want a hug?” – so sweet! He was really patient and caring and said all the right things to calm his little brother.

Lately they have had some fabulous fun together, they seem to chat more. EJ sometimes tries to boss JJ. Sometimes they fight over a toy but just recently EJ has begun to understand the concept of sharing and even got involved in some conflict resolution by doing a swift about-face and giving the object of desire willingly over to his brother who has dubbed him “the best toddler in the world” and I’m “the best mummy in the world” and he’s “the best JJ in the world”.

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Black and white photography project: Through the web

Boys trim trail

I love this little ‘through the keyhole’ sneaky look at my boys from the other side of the ‘spiders web’ climbing structure in my Mum and Dad’s local Rec ground.

Joining up with Charly’s Black and White Photography Project over at Podcast Dove.


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Siblings in June

Siblings June 2

June has been a month of playgrounds, outings and outdoors fun for the boys. It has seen them play and interact together more tha ever before – particularly at times when JJ hasn’t had another one of his friends at hand. It seems he is finally starting to think of his little brother as a ‘friend’ as well – someone who he can trust to always be around as a play companion.

Of course EJ isn’t quite ready for following instructions, and often it all ends in a bit of a full on bundle with a 50/50 mixture of squeals of hilarity and distress! In fact I was tempted to write a post titled ‘Like a Circus Act gone Wrong!” during bedtime this evening – the manic and physical nature of this witching hour is sometimes more than I can handle – just picture trying to put a nappy on a naked toddler who is constantly moving, twisting and squealing whilst his brother rolls across him ending up on his head? I guess this is just their little ritual right now! (Note to self: No more sugar after 9am… *laughs at own ridiculous optimism*).

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A change of scene

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On Friday mornings we generally stick to a pattern. It is my only full week day off with the kids and since JJ was about 11 months old we have been regulars at one of the local toddler groups. I have made some good friends there and got to know our childminder and her husband, who I also consider to be friends (the group is run by the town’s Childminders Association, and they are a lovely bunch of people to hang out with).

Its very much a ‘free play’ kind of group – the toys and activities are rotated weekly, although I think we tend to miss out on the crafting as that seems to happen on Wednesdays (when my mum takes EJ along).

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Siblings in May

When you have an (almost) three year age gap between your children it can be hard to imagine what kind of relationship they will end up having when the youngest is a babe in arms. I remember how his brother used to dismiss his presence as if he were simply another item of baggage which we were obliged to carry around with us. Nowadays its a completely different story. With EJ fully mobile, starting to talk and attempting to get involved in everything (particularly everything his big brother is doing!) he is finally being referred to (on occasion) as JJ’s best friend.

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‘In-cot’ hilarity

Sometimes when you have a second child you wonder what you were thinking during those fevered days of family planning. It’s double trouble. It’s mischief and mayhem. It’s refereeing and fending off the green eyed monster. And it’s twice as tiring and demanding (goodness knows how people cope with more than two!). But then there are those moments of sheer wonder – the growing bond, the teamwork, the companionship.

For me, the first signs of brotherly love began to show the day JJ came running through to the room I share with EJ (and still do now) and jumped into the cot with him first thing in the morning. Of course initially I was a bit worried about EJ’s safety – JJ was a boisterous 3 year old and bounced around that enclosed space like Tigger on acid. But as EJ has grown and developed he began to beam as soon as a pyjama-clad JJ came bounding into the room shouting his name gleefully. A bit of cot wrestling results in them both collapsing in fits of giggles and JJ sometimes even brings his portable DVD through and plays EJ a bit of his favourite – Chuggington. I actually overheard him the other day saying to EJ “you like Chuggington don’t you?” to which EJ readily responded “Yeah” – so cute when you consider that EJ probably had no idea what he’d just been asked but it demonstrated this companionable togetherness and made me feel just a little bit more in love with them both (if that’s possible!).

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Siblings April 2014

I appreciate that not only have I never taken part in this link up before but I’m also posting on the wrong day. Still, never mind its the thought that counts!

And besides I captured this gorgeous moment between my two boys JJ (4) and EJ (20 months) this morning and I just feel like it needs an airing:

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They really are finally getting to that stage of playing and laughing together and at the same time JJ is ridiculously protective of his little brother whenever we go anywhere and let EJ off the reigns as it were. He runs after him if he thinks he’s about to disappear and gets himself in a right pickle but at least it shows he really cares!

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