So when Alexander was first born, we had this.

Older brother kissing baby brother

Aw, soft focus pictures of our boys together kissing and cuddling, Oliver our firstborn and heir looking lovingly at his younger brother, our darling baby Alexander. Bless.

Fast forward a year. Oliver realises his brother is sticking around for more than just the photo opp (and he’s loud, confident and wants to play with his toys). Like forevs. The adoration is still there, sure it is. But from Alexander to his older brother. A spends his days gazing at Big Bro brimming with love and admiration.

When Oliver play-sleeps he bounds over and lays his head on him, stroking his back, urging him to wake up and play. Until he gets walloped over the head that is. Then my mostly mild mannered smiley baby boy cries and cries making for tears before bedtime… and lunchtime and pretty much all of the time when Oliver is around.

Master Oliver is definitely wearing out the naughty step… and my patience at the moment.

I get it, he’s fed up of this cute little dude with the angelic face and perfect curls, stealing his thunder and previous ‘divide and rule’ status pre baby.

So we now have pictures like this.


Oliver is a caring little boy, he just doesn’t want to share our attentions and affections after being King for 2 and a half years before he arrived. Sometimes is of course kind to him and they play happily together, one game is where Oliver crawls chasing after Alexander before tickling him and they all fall about laughing.  I just wish it was more often. I just wish I didn’t feel like I was pulling my hair out some days. I’ve got good hair guys, please don’t ruin it.

…And my previously talkative baby (around 8 words and counting at 11 months) has now resorted to calling everyone and everything “Mama” and he’s not the only one regressing. My mature little 3 and a half year old Oliver who is bright as button, could write his name from 2 1/2, creates songs that would make a tiger mum enlist him for Britain’s Got Talent (do you take toddlers Mr Cowell?) is now demanding milk from a baby bottle when his brother does, wails in synchronicity with his brother (and the cat)-I know I really need to get them on Britain’s Got Talent…and he even wants to play with his brother’s toys, hides his clothes and basically would like us to put him up for adoption.

I understand this is all normal older sibling behaviour (it is right?) that will no doubt pass but exactly how long does it take? I’ve now flipping well regressing myself. You’ll find me tantrumming and wailing on the living room floor reaching for wine (see above) by lunchtime.

And I’m tired, so tired… can I have my hot milk now?

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12 Responses

  1. Richmond Mummy

    Oh dear, great post to read – v entertaining sorry and the photo of O holding A crying is quite funny!! – but poor you, sounds like it’s pretty challenging times at the moment eh? just keep wine (and ear plugs?!) close at hand! xx

  2. Susan Mann

    My boys get on so well being two years apart, they do have their moments but I’m luck they pretty much get on. I’m thinking it won’t be quite the same when A grows up a bit. I’m sure this phase will pass, it takes time for them to play with each other xx

  3. Franglaise Mummy

    Sending hugs and positive thoughts, but unfortunately no practical advice – with 2 girls and a 6 year age gap I have too much love to try and contend with, such as over-zealous hugs and smothering kisses all the time. I’m sure it’ll get better though….

  4. 3yearsandhome

    My boys have the same age gap and it’s safe to say that they tolerate each other rather than being the best of buddies. I keep saying to CK that it’s okay if he doesn’t like his brother but he had to be kind to him. Not that I get listened to, of course.

  5. Clare Desai

    I picked up on this via Anya H quoting me on Twitter. My son (now 21 – yikes) and daughter (now 18) have been fighting for the past 18 years. (Sorry to sound depressing!). He was underwhelmed when she arrived but tolerated her quite well as I made sure we had a lot of time together 1-1. However, she was a bloody nightmare! He still has the scars from where she used to dig her fingernails into his arm and regularly draw blood. Nowadays, they fight over who has the car, who used the most petrol, who came in latest and woke who up etc etc. He specialises in gross behaviour like burping in her face. It’s a joy! Not. Perhaps it was made worse by them being different sexes, I don’t know the answer to that. But sorry to say, whatever strategies I have used over the years to get them to just BE NICE have mostly failed . Having said all this (and sorry to go on) if one is in trouble, the other is there like a shot. Daughter is about to leave for Uni and I’m hoping a bit of distance will make them like each other a bit more. Good luck with yours! If all else fails, get a dog for some unconditional adoration to make you feel good 🙂

  6. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    Oh dear. I’m afraid I agree with everybody else – I have two boys aged eight and four who rub along nicely and wind each other up mercilessly all the time! I think the fact they’re boys makes a difference because they are so physical, but when they’re so young it’s outright dangerous to ignore it. The eldest needs to be occupied with intelligent pursuits while you keep the youngest out of his way – or out at nursery / playing with friends. I find mine are better when we’re out and those soft play areas are a Godsend. We have one near us that serves wine. Win / win. Good luck honeybunch. Hair dye – it’s the way forward.

  7. Colette cooper

    Sorry, it continues!! Mine are 6 and 5 so the only difference is they do it in a different way (cue wrestling, spiteful comments, fights over the tv etc). Luckily the good outweigh the bad!!!

  8. katie

    I feel you! Although this post is of no comfort to me. I have two sons and my 3 year old has no time for his little bro (6 months) at all, he has been terribly jealous and i was hoping it would get better with age?! 🙁

  9. Notmyyearoff

    Umm I think it is. I believe this is exactly how I was when my little brother came along. We’re in our 30s now and definitely get along. I think the “phase” lasted till we were about 5ish..maybe bit more. I love that second photo!! 🙂 they will be inseparable soon I’m sure!

  10. Mummylimited

    Mine are now 4 and 2 and we are in a similar stage, having been where you are and then had a nice phase. This post has made me feel better as I read so many posts about how much siblings love each other and how idyllic it all is. It’s clear that mine do love each other, but I guess siblings always fight and it’s just so uneven when the youngest is so little. I’m hoping it will just improve. We’ll both just have to hang in there.

  11. Mummy Matters

    Erm. . . how do I break this to you gently? My daughter is 5 and my son about to turn 3 and they are in no rush to play nicely. Yes we get the odd super cute moments but they are rare and I am exhausted!! Good luck, pour yourself another glass and one for me whilst you’re at it x


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