The lengths of jealousy 

jealous siblings

There has always been a little bit of sibling rivalry in our house, anyone with more than one child will experience it at some point and a bit of competition is healthy I guess.

With Emmy being 2 years and 9 months older than Harry she had me to herself for a fair chunk of her life before having to share me with her brother.

She’s used to always being with me as when she was born I was a Nanny and returned to work when she was 3 months old taking her with me for half of my working time, the other half she was with her Nanny (Paul’s Mum) with Paul working in the office at their house.

By the time Harry arrived I’d given up Nannying and disbanded the Nanny/Babysitting Agency I had for a year realising it just wasn’t for me.

When Harry came along she coped really well initially and loved having a little brother to help care for.

There was a nasty incident which saw us rushing him to hospital aged 11 weeks as in a jealous moment when I was breast-feeding him and she wanted my attention she grabbed something from my shelf and dropped it on his head. It was one of those awful moments when I just couldn’t react in time to the situation, with my arms cradling his head and body I wasn’t able to untangle my hands in time.

My heart stopped in a moment and I did fear the worst. Babies heads are just so delicate but thankfully the only ill effects were on my nerves. I did get a good telling off by the doctor and warned about jealous and siblings and to be careful not to leave them alone together, I wouldn’t have done that anyway as she could have tried to pick him up at anytime and dropped him.

It just takes a second for accidents to happen. She was at the time sitting next to me and we were reading stories in my bed while I was feeding him.

Now they are both older I find it’s still Emmy who has the jealousy issues and wants everything he has.

If it’s his birthday she wants to play with his new toys first, it’s her who will strop that he has a toy she doesn’t – take this Christmas for instance, Harry got an Elf toy from his Grandad, she kept on and on at him asking him if she could have it, offering to swap something of her’s or offering him money.

Harry is just the sweetest and always wants her to be happy so of course said yes. We put our foot down and told her no as it was his but she would just go on at him behind our back and we would find it in her room.

They do really get on rather well nowadays and play together nicely, this weekend I’ve barely seen them as they’ve just played together in Harry’s new room nicely.

It’s the little things that are annoying however and her jealousy towards him is the main issue. If he is on my lap having a cuddle she has to be there too, if he chooses a story to read she strops that she wants hers. If he is poorly and just needs mummy then she is suddenly poorly just to try to steal the attention away from him.

This week was another example, they have about 5 dolls between then. Most are Emmy’s but they share, with Harry having one of his one, Emmy having a special one and the others are joint ones they share together. Harry does have a boy doll but he wanted to play with a smaller doll on this occasion which happened to be one of the girls, Emmy kept trying to steer him towards another because as soon as he started playing with it then she suddenly wanted it.

He played with this doll from 4pm until 8pm at bedtime, pushing it in a pram, putting it in a high chair and feeding it dinner. He changed it into his PJs  (his baby in his game was a boy called Alexander) and gave it a bottle. He read it a story and then put it to bed in his bed with him.

This is where I left him and his baby, both asleep tucked up in bed.

Coming to bed, I checked on the kids, tucked them in and kissed them goodnight. It was then I discovered Alexander missing. Now if Harry had woken up without him he wouldn’t have been happy so a mad search started. I searched all of Harry’s room, thinking it very strange as he hadn’t woken up at all but begin to think maybe I’m going a tad mad here.

I search Emmy’s room and downstairs and turn up nothing.

Then I double-check Emmy’s dolls cot in her room and inside is a baby doll. A girl doll. The only one the same size that we have only its wearing a pink baby grow not the blue, green and red striped one Harry had out in it, then from the corner of my eye I see that baby grow, tucked into one of Emmy’s drawers!

She’d snuck into Harry’s room when he was asleep, taken the doll she wanted from his bed, changed its clothes and hid them so we wouldn’t know it was the same doll and put it in her room.

I knew of course as we only have one of those dolls and only one of the striped baby grow.

It’s been decided now that we will get Harry another new doll and she won’t be allowed to play with it.

That was a step too far and goes a little beyond just jealousy. It’s deceitful and she carefully planned that manoeuver.

The doll was changed again and back in Harry’s bed before he noticed it was gone, and in place in Emmy’s dolls cot was her doll in the baby grow she picked out.

I thought she wouldn’t even remember by the morning but it was the first thing she mentioned – dropping herself in it in the process as she had to admit what she did.

Have you encountered rivalry/jealousy in siblings?

How do you cope with it?

One thought on “The lengths of jealousy 

  1. For us, it’s our younger daughter who gets jealous of her older brother. He gave up trying to sit on my lap when he was about four because she was always on me and she still hates it if he gets attention. I’m an only child so the dynamic is totally alien to me which doesn’t help!

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