Something weird and unpleasant is happening in our home at the moment and I'm not sure how it has festered into this 'situation' we are seemingly in.
Oliver is feeling out of place. I think Oliver is feeling out of place. Actually I'm not at all sure as he seems to love Charlie with the force of nature that comes in the form of love for a child. Except that Charie is our child and his brother. Something has shifted. Possibly shifting for some time but now we've hit the wall.
When Olie was a baby, my mother remarked that he had an incredible sense of self. He does and it will hopefully steady him when life throws arrows at him which it is guaranteed to do at some point. The problem with that level of confidence is that he believes he is in control and has control when really he is still a little boy.
I am teetering on the knife edge between letting it sort itself out and banning him from being near the baby. Totally shit if you ask me.
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he would do anything for Charlie. I am also beginning to have no doubt that he would do anything to Charlie. And I don't think its because he is jealous neceassarily. More that he loves him so much, SO much, that he can't control the impulses to go too far. Taking that tickle to the next level of poking those fingers in as far as possible, stroking him on the forehead that morphs into rough rubbing of the forehead. Little things that turn suddenly into something aggresive and scary. Charlie has begun to look at Oliver with a mixture of adoration and caution. Its heartbreaking. This week has seen Charlie react with fear to for the first time since he came into our lives. Both times it was Oliver using a booming voice and a sudden table smack or appearing suddenly right in Charlies face and shouting a word. I know that at nine months Charlie is in the fear learning curve, but it was a very sudden development.
This baby of ours does not cry unless really pushed (extremely over tired, waited more than long enough for his dinner) and I think he has been pushed. The other night, after he was wondersuited up for bed, Oliver and I were sitting with him and suddenly he went crazy with crying. Oliver was as far across the room as humanly possible in a blink, squawking that he was only patting him. I thought he must have squeezed Charlies arm. The next morning I found a full set of teeth marks on Charlie. I was absolutely floored. I dont think he meant to bite him at all. I think that when he is busy 'loving' Charlie, the impulse to go further, to want to eat him up and love him to pieces, must swell up in him and he does things without realising it.
Any kind of sibbling issues were well off the page as far as we were concerned. Henry was delighted with his "baby Oggy George" and we thought both boys were so much older, there was no reason for any kind of jealousy to occur.
Now the big question is, of course, do we ignore things? How much? We have spoken to him, consequences have been dished out and he appears to be mortified and understanding. Without putting Charlie at risk, do we just stand back and let Oliver come to terms with his emotions? Have you experienced anything like this?