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Oh, my. This must be such an emotionally complicated time for Elias I imagine. He's striving to be so independent while still wanting to be your baby.

I remember my mother telling me that my next oldest sister tried to cosh me on the head with a fireplace poker one time while mom was nursing me. We laugh about it forty-some odd years later but I imagine she felt very much like Elias does right now.

It'll change with time. I'm sure you already do, but try to make some special time just for him so he gets a bit of he emotional relief he seeks.

This post brought back so many memories for me. Hopefully it is comforting to know that Elias' reaction to Olive's arrival is so typical. You'd be worried if he wasn't acting like this! Just remember that Olive is not as fragile as you think and having a big brother will just make her a tough little cookie like her momma. I mean that in the best sense. It is hard to accept that you are responsible for rocking his world, but Olive will be a playmate and confidant for the rest of his life. It just starts out slowly!

I have a picture of my older sister "holding me" -- she is grinning her head off, the hugest smile you could ever see and I am screaming HARD, because she had me in a neck choke hold. She was 2, I was a newborn. My Mom had posed us so she could snap the picture, and then as she was taking it, sis tightened the hold. I have watched my kids do it, and I know my sister's kids have done it to their younger sibs too. It's tough to watch and deal with, but that uncertainty and unconscious competition will fade as time passes and he realizes you are still his Mommy and Daddy too and you still love him tons. It will just take time.

Oh it helps to hear all your stories! Thank you. A fireplace poker--Niksmother,your sister knew how to pick a dangerous weapon!

Elias and Nick have been having lost of outside time together and I try to spend special time snuggling with him both in the morning and at night but of course he always seems to want my attention right when I'm trying to nurse, and Olive is a good eater but it can still take her awhile to latch on, especially when she's all worked up. And Elias leaning on me too makes it even harder so I feel like Im constantly saying, "I need a little space". That and "careful".
I know it will get better. Especially as Olive and I both get sturdier. (And Flem you are right, she's not so fragile.) I'm feeling better each day, besides the sleep deprivation, so hopefully soon I can romp in the snow with him too. And hopefully his feelings will work their way out without anyone getting hurt and with him knowing how much we love him.

oooh - the ambivalent older brother. For what it's worth, our entirely typical nearly-13 year old Hannah still struggles with being the older sibling of a kid like Toby - and has her own demons to deal with about it (largely revolving around feeling slighted in the attention department - which really is a lot like what Elias is probably feeling at the moment). The other side (that she doesn't always remember, and that Elias has yet to discover) is how much extra he gets by having a sibling and specifically by being the first. Love grows - as you say - but not without it's own growing pains.

I adore that ambivalent picture - it's just awesome :)

Man, love is complicated. I still struggle with jealousy towards my baby sister. I'm 27 and she's 25. And she's my best friend. :) I guess you'll all muddle your way through. You all have good heads on your shoulders. Even (especially) Elias. Keep up the good work! :)

True confession. I'm one of 5. My older brother is 10 years ahead and as a kid I worshiped the ground he walked on, I still kinda do. My little sister is 10 years younger than I am, and she totally hung the moon. I loved her from the first second I saw her and that feeling has been pretty unrelenting. My little brother totally brings out the protecter in me and always has. My step-sister is five years younger and came along when I was 10. I totally lost my cool. I would put paint in her hairbrush and tooth brush. At one point I stole my little sister's favorite stuffed animal and hid it in my step-sister's room to frame her. I would pretend to still like toys or games that I really hated only because I didn't want her to have them. She was learning English and I would teach her the wrong words or dirty words saying they meant something else so that she'd get in trouble in school. We got in a slapping fight complete with hair pulling and screaming at my dad's bosses house. I was 150% rotten towards her. It took at least 3 years for everyone to calm down. We're friends now and I've totally apologized, but making a family is never easy. Transitioning from being the center of attention to having to share the spotlight is rough. It sounds like you and Nick are doing a great job explaining and giving Elias his own time. I'm sure he'll come around when Olive can interact with him, right now she's not a lot of fun for a 5 year old, totally cute, but the stuff adults find cute 5 year old boys find boring. Hang in there, and thanks for the update!

I am 5 years older than my brother, too. When he started talking, I think I asked my mom if she could take him back :)

It does cause a twinge when my older son (3.5) says something about his 1-year old brother like, "N. needs to stay home" or "Me not like N.!" Even though I understand exactly why he says it and try to give him concentrated time just the two of us. When you love both your children so much, you want them to love each other, too...but it's never that easy. And even less so when you are 4 or 5!

My son is freshly three, and my newest baby girl is one, and daily, I have to pry his loving arms from her neck as he gives her his "hugs." She is learning how to defend herself from him a little, but mostly she just laughs and laughs when he smothers her. At first though, when she was tiny and breakable, we would scold him and try to show him how to hold her gently. He never really caught on to that, and prefers to love his sister ferociously. Just now he declared to me that he loves his sister a lot more when she is in the other room while he plays with his trains, and yet in every single car ride, he holds her hand and sings her songs. :)

Oh man!!! I love this picture!!! Don't u just want to give him a big hug and kiss! Personally, as the oldest sibling of 4 there r still days my 42 yr old sister can make me feel like that, I think his reaction is completely appropriate! Congratulations, Olive is adorable! I hated to hear u had such a rough time, I imagine Nick and the rest of your family were scared beyond belief. I think the whole pregnancy thing is a huge game of Russian Roulette, you spin the wheel and hope for the best. Is it my imagination or does Olive strongly resemble Nick?

Does Elias like to be read to?? Ben always wanted be on top of me whenever I sat down to nurse. Reading to him was one of the few things I could do while feeding her. Turning it into our "reading time" was the only thing that saved both our sanity.

I second Brooke's statement, or I try to go to another room to nurse if the boys dad is home so I am out of sight out of mind. Also, have you tried asking Elias if he would like to be called your big boy or your baby boy ? I have used this trick with each of my kids this go around and it seems to help them calm down a little and reassure them.

I'll say: "Curtice, are you baby Curtice or big boy Curtice today?". and sometimes he'll yell, " I"M NOT A BABY! I'M A BIG BOY" and run off, but other times he'll laugh and say, "i'm baby Curtice" so i'll pick him up, cuddle him in a cradle hold (as best i can he is 4.5) and say: "oh baby Curtice, your so sweet. your my super baby, you can talk and walk and oh look at little super baby... arn't you the cutest baby in the whole world, your so sweet..." etc until we are both giggling. it seems to help him a little get the whole you'll always be my baby and i love you thing.

Of course, the first 12-36 weeks are the hardest and once Olive hits 6mos and can start sitting up and playing slightly independently and you have healed, and are getting some sleep the whole world starts to look up... I keep reminding myself to try and enjoy the little baby age, our last, Johnston, was born on the 17th of December. But, with the other three kids its so hard... just when the baby sleeps the best 6 or 7 am to 10 to 11 am, the other boys are at their widest awake, loudest, want mommy to play time... oh to see 4 hours of sleep, in a row....

I remember my friend, when she had her second child, telling me that one day she yelled at her 4 year old son "Do you want a mother that hits you?!" This was after he had woken up his sleeping sister for the millionth time that day. So, I'd say you're doing great so far keeping your cool!

I love and admire your open honesty.. plus, even exhausted and brain-drained, you're an excellent writer.

I have faith Elias' opinion of Olive will turn around, and in the meantime, he's lucky to have such understanding, compassionate parents who unconditionally love him (even if you did upset his world).

All these little tips make me want to give one of my own. Try making Olive 'talk' to Elias. I did this with my Holly and Jimmy. I'd make Holly say things like "Hey, brudder! You're the best big brudder! Gimme a kiss!" And he'd laugh and kiss her. Or I'd pretend I could tell what she was saying when she babbled. I'd tell him she was saying he was so smart and she couldn't wait for him to teach her all the things he knew. He loved it and I think it made hime think of her as a whole person not just a blob. They're 19 months and 4 now and they're two peas in a pod. They scrap, but they do have a deep and abiding love and friendship.

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