They were best friends…When Xander was born and all thick hair and cute and then as a toddler when Oliver played with him like some sort of enraptured doll who would laugh and clap at his every word and silly face. Then as Alexander grew older and Oliver matured at great speed, the gap between them ( 2 years and 7 months) grew. Emotionally. Xander wanted Oliver toys and time, and frankly Oliver wanted to be an only child again, so much so he’d ask me why I had another baby, why he wasn’t enough for Peter and I. Really.
Recently though, aged 8 and 5 respectively, we’ve reached a turning point in their relationship. Alexander is a bright little 5 year old and has become quite the match for his older, ‘born older than his years brother’. They can now play together in a meaningful way and have more in depth conversations on all the important things in life such as whether fish fingers or beef burgers are tastier…They can now play basketball and football together and love to compete over who swings highest in the playground. They love to bake and take it in turns to wash my hair, and somehow, eventually they’ve learnt to share me, their mama: my love and my limbs after fighting over me for so long.
I now catch them laughing at jokes they tell one another and marvel at the fact they’ve just played uninterrupted for a few hours, just playing without squabbling, something so simple which was previously unheard of. We actually had a relaxing holiday last week as the kids played mostly peacefully with one another and attended the Kids’ Club hand-in-hand most days.
Yes they still argue, yes they still fight over who I cuddle first but 90% of the time, they’re the best friends and that’s good enough for me.
If you’re struggling right now with kids and wonder if sibling rivalry will ever turn to love, it will, eventually so fear not.