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!).
Looking at the photo above I’m reminded of the day when JJ went from being an only child (at almost three years of age) to a big brother. He seemed to take it in his stride and never seemed jealous or tried to hurt EJ, and yet at the same time his behaviour went completely haywire – he became an extremely fussy eater, had some horrendous tantrums and began pushing the boundaries further and further.
Fortunately things settled down in the end and now, 18 months later, they play together, JJ refers to EJ as his best friend and delights in being the first to wake his brother and say Good Morning EJ!
Having recently read a post from one of my favourite parenting blogs, Raising Edgar, on the subject of the decision to have (or in their case, not to have) more than one child, it got me thinking about why I wanted two myself. Of course there are just as many reasons for not wanting more than one as there are for not wanting any at all – the less you have the better off you are financially, the more time you are likely to have for your one child, or for yourself if you have none at all, the easier it is on your body and the way you live. Plus, no arguments to break up, no disagreements to mediate, no fights to referee…