Friday, October 01, 2010

Brotherly Love

I have reached the pinnacle of motherhood. Yesterday afternoon, through tightly clenched teeth, Lucas growled, "I wish your weren't my mom." I have heard "I hate you" before, but this one was a new one for me. Leave it to Lucas to get creative in his attempts to be hurtful. Unbeknownst to him, however, he's not hurting me. As a matter of fact, I don't mind the occasional hateful sneer. I take it as proof positive that I am doing something right. If he adored me all the time, how boring would that be?

So what necessitated Lucas' wish for a different mother yesterday? It all started outside. It was a gorgeous fall day yesterday. Blue skies. Red and gold leaves falling from the trees. Sophie had asked if we could get out the sidewalk chalk. I thought that sounded like a fabulous idea, so we went out in the front yard and began drawing on the sidewalks. Lucas and Nicholas quickly became bored with the chalk, so they brought out two big Tonka dump trucks from the house. They were racing with the trucks and playing their latest favorite game, "Stuffed Animal Kart." Think "Mario Kart" with beanie babies. We had been outside about an hour and everyone was getting along splendidly. The boys were playing on the side of the house and Sophie was coloring the bricks surrounding our flower beds, when I suddenly heard Nicholas scream and then begin crying. I jumped up to see what was wrong. I found Nicholas sprawled on the ground, mid-breakdown. I asked what had happened. Apparently, Nicholas had asked Lucas to wait for him as they were racing and Lucas had made some comment about Nicholas being too slow. These days, Nicholas worships the ground his older brother walks on. He wants to talk like Lucas. He wants to dress like Lucas. He wants to play the games Lucas plays. He wants to be like Lucas in every way. As a result, he is a bit overly sensitive to what Lucas thinks about him. Something as simple as saying he's too slow can be misconstrued as rejection from his older brother...the absolute light of his life. I kindly asked Lucas to please wait for Nicholas. Again, Lucas said, "but he's too slow." At that point, Nicholas again threw himself on the ground in tears. I tried to explain to Lucas that Nicholas loves him and really wants to be like him, so it would be nice if he would just wait for him. Lucas, who typically is extremely patient with Nicholas, had no patience yesterday. At that point, be began to yell, "Nicholas ruins everything! I hate playing with him!" Of course, this devastated Nicholas and he sobbed uncontrollably. I took Lucas aside again and explained that he needs to play nice with Nicholas....a little less touchy-feely this time. As a matter of fact, I practically yelled, "He's four, Lucas. How old are you? Seven? Nicholas is four. Cut him some slack." At that point, Lucas (thinking I could not hear him) walked past Nicholas and whispered "Cry-baby!" That was the end of it. Nicholas was done. He could barely breathe because he was sobbing so loudly. I announced that we were finished outside and we were going in. Lucas, however, just wouldn't let it go. Why couldn't he just let it go? Again, he started in with the "Nicky ruins everything" speech. I was completely finished with him at that point and told him that I was going to feed him dinner and then he was heading straight to bed. I was tired of him being so ugly to his brother. I then turned my back to carry some toys in the house. Nicholas was standing on the sidewalk in front of the door. Right as I turned my back, Nicholas screamed. I turned to find him clutching the side of his face and Lucas looking at me sheepishly. Yep...Lucas had slugged Nicholas in the head. I have absolutely ZERO tolerance for hitting. I grabbed Lucas by the arm and shuffled him in the house. I immediately sent him to his room. He shoved me on the way, and then ran to his room and tried to slam the door. Unfortunately for him, his bedroom door kind of sticks to the carpet, so his thundering exit didn't quite work out as he had planned. I let his stew in his room for a while before going in there to talk to him. I found him sitting behind the door glaring angrily at his bed. I calmly explained that we do NOT hit in our house. I again re-iterated that Nicholas is only four years old and Lucas needs to understand that he will sometimes be slow. He will sometimes cry. He will sometimes act irrationally. However, he loves Lucas unconditionally and Lucas needs to be a bit more understanding and patient. Lucas seemed to understand all of this. I then told him that he would be grounded from the Wii the following day for hitting Nicholas and shoving me. That is when I got the sneer and the angrily professed wish for a different mom. I left him in his room exactly as I had found him...sitting behind the door glaring at his bed. Later that night, he did apologize to both Nicky and I. And within 15 minutes, he was happily playing with his brother again. All in all, I think I handled the situation fairly well. I wanted to pummel the little punk. But I resisted that urge. After all, I DO have a zero tolerance policy for hitting in my house....I suppose that applies to parents, as well.

I have come to the conclusion that brotherly love is complicated. Nicholas may annoy Lucas to no end. He frustrates him and exasperates him. He pesters him and perturbs him. Occasionally, Lucas lashes out at him. However, all in all, he is generally patient and loving with his little brother. Lucas is Nicholas' protector. Heaven help the person who tries to hurt Nicholas! As far as Lucas is concerned, HE is the only one allowed to abuse his baby brother. See...brotherly love is weird and complicated.


Post a Comment