The Best Big Brother

Yesterday when I picked up my boys (three-and-a-half and 17 months) from their day care, we were pretty much the last ones to leave. That being the case, we loitered in the parking lot for a little bit, and the boys did some exploring in the flower beds on the perimeter of the building. My youngest crouched down to inspect a rusted pipe, and I was surprised when my older son grabbed his hand. “Brother, no! Careful! You can’t touch things like that, they might not be safe!”

With an air about him that seemed to say, “What would this baby do without me?,” I watched as my older son led his baby brother by the hand to our car. I followed behind them a couple of paces, marveling at how my oldest son seemed so in control of the situation. He walked with brother to the driver’s side, where he bid him to stay still while he opened the door. He was able to open the door, but in doing so, it unfortunately hit Baby Brother, who seemed unperturbed but a bit stunned by it all. At this point, I stepped in, brushed the baby off, and assured him that his big brother had had the best of intentions.

It really is wonderful to see the boys together. The baby sometimes makes my older son crazy, but most of the time, he is really good with him. And it’s so sweet to see the baby idolize his big brother. It’s gotten to the point where everything that Big Brother does, the baby has to do too. That’s why every morning, after Big Brother goes to the potty, then the baby must sit on the potty. When he does so, he looks at me as if to say, “I don’t know what the big deal is about this thing, but if Brother does it, then I’m going to do it too.”

The mimicking is precious. But I admit, sometimes it goes too far. For example, if Big Brother is done with dinner and wants to get down, so does the Baby, whether he’s done eating or not. If Big Brother squeals a little too loudly, then the Baby will also scream. And if Big Brother jumps on the couch, then of course, the Baby does too, and chaos quickly ensues.

Sometimes I wonder if all of the mimicking will make Big Brother crazy, but he seems to take it all in stride. In fact, sometimes I think he might even like it…. Most of the time, he’s really quite patient. All of the time, my husband and I tell him what a good big brother he is. And it’s true. He really is.

Today, he gave Baby Brother a huge hug and lifted him off the floor. It was really sweet, although unfortunately he was hugging him around the neck. Again, mom stepped in to help Baby Brother and once again I told him, “Sorry, sweetie, but Big Brother loves you and he has the best of intentions.” He looked at me and grinned as if to say, “Don’t worry, Mom, I know.”

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