child development

Don’t Waste Time Breaking Up Fights Between Your Toddler And Your Baby

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There are some parts of parenting that make me toss and turn all night—SIDS, choking, freak accidents, peer pressure, just to name a few. There are other parenting issues that arise that just make me say, meh, as I check the latest Facebook status updates on my iPhone.

I thought that we dodged a major parenting bullet by having our kids close together. There are myriad articles online about how to help a toddler adjust to a new baby that you bring home. But since my kids were only 16 months apart, and since we also had my second son at home so we technically never brought him “home,” I thought we were ahead of the game.

NOPE. It just took a little bit of time for my two-year-old to figure out that he had a little brother and to decide that he hated him. Now, my younger son is nine months old and has started crawling and pulling up on everything.

To paint a picture for you, he might crawl over to one of my older son’s toy trucks, pull up on it, and use it for balance. My older son will spot his younger brother playing with one of his LEAST FAVORITE toys across the room and make a beeline for him. My older son may spend the next 10 minutes draping his body over the toy in different formations, crying crocodile tears, and then drinking his own tears to truly relish in the injustice of it all. (This really happened.)

With most parenting challenges that I face, I usually turn to all the other clueless parents on the Internet for advice. But with this particular situation, I couldn’t care less. These kids are going to spend the next 18 years of their lives together. They’ll probably have physical fights if they’re anything like my husband and his two brothers. We’ll probably make several trips to the emergency room because son #1 tripped son #2 and split his head open, or vice versa.

I’m not in the mood to try to make peace between a baby and a toddler because it makes no sense. I’m sure my toddler will adjust to the new baby in a few months and may even warm up to the idea of taking a bath with him without trying to drown him or scald him in hot water. Until then, I’ll be on my iPhone.

(Image: Andrew Lam/Shutterstock)