Green eyes

I thought that my youngest child – that any youngest child, really – would be somewhat immune from jealousy.  When my eldest was 18 months, she would scream blue murder if I held another child, and be utterly furious if her highchair was usurped by visiting friends.  She wasn’t all that impressed at the age of 4 when baby brother came along, either, although her main complaint was that she had ordered a sister and we hadn’t delivered so could we please take him back and swap him?

Fainjin was nearly 18 months when Babess was born, and I worried about jealousy, especially as I reluctantly had to wean him off the breast the week before she arrived.  He was remarkably equanimous about it though, and hasn’t even protested very much as – over time – he has had to relinquish the highchair and pushchair to the smaller person.

So  how does Babess come to shriek with fury, whenever I pick up Fainjin for a cuddle?  Surely she’s always had to share my attention?  I can see why she gets territorial about the pushchair – as far as she’s concerned, it’s hers and he has no business sitting in it, no matter that I’m carrying her and even if he is sick (just a cold, nothing to worry about).  But she’s just as possessive of me as if she were an only child.  It’s a little unnerving.

Unlike an only child, however, she won’t, and can’t, be indulged in that possessiveness.  The cure is at hand, in the form of larger, more articulate siblings.  She’ll just have to share.

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