No, surely, his tantrums are escalated by textbook sibling rivalry and jealousy – adoption edition.
And for all of you adoptive families out there, especially the ones about to travel (and with kids at home), this is real life. It happens, it’s gonna happen and it’s best to know it now.
Little Man is the one who was ‘displaced’ out of the baby slot. He was bumped. He was the one who became a whole new status: “I’m the big brother” when he had thoroughly relished his long term ‘baby of the family’ status.
That’s a tough change.
And he is swinging from the fun of a new smaller person to play cars with on the floor (another BOY, hoorah!), race through the house, and topple toys…to the jealous fury of seeing me hold that same new male small person, baby, in my lap and have to share that lap, and scowling when I say “No” when he launches into my room and hollers for me when I am putting the baby to bed. Sometimes it just seems like a quick body check as he passes by that toddler might be a good idea.
So Little Man gets in trouble or directed to do something else and will often launch into one of his tantrums and willful scowling stubborn sulks. Which gets him sent to his room or losing something fun, which this summer, escalates into a fairly impressive temper fit.
That’s being Four. That’s jealousy. That’s a pain in the neck and a drag.
But that’s normal.
And it will pass. Little Man already can’t quite jive up these feelings: his normal, inborn sweet happy disposition and his full temper and anger at not getting his way and frustration at new changes and ways. It’s hard to learn to control your feelings and temper….I”m 46, still working on it. I get it.
So we are problem solving. One of his biggest issues is that Little Man hates, HATES sleeping in his own room, always has (I know, that will change soon enough). But for now, he cries. He hates it. Gabriel can’t sleep there yet, although we have a crib in there, because I am too lazy to get up 6+ times a night and walk over there stumbling blind and sleepy as Gabe wakes, again. So the baby is in my room. And Little Man is JEALOUS. So. We are now letting him make a pallet by the baby, in our room, and he can sleep near his brother…start now, what will be their childhood nights together. I know, it sounds nuts. But it works. And it’s only for a short time.
And that’s the important part to remember. This time of adjusting, in the big scheme of things, is a blink. It will pass. And then you’ll move on to something else. It might seem big, huge. It is surely a pain. But it is not defining. It is adjusting, nudging here and there, accomodating and problem solving and hearing them…soothing and teaching until a new mold is made.
So, if you want to feel better at the fussing or rivalry or meltdowns in your house, go read my son’s post. He makes me sound much more together than I am in real life, and for that I paid him, um, thank him. So, don’t think he’s accurate on that point. This is not the fun part of adopting. But don’t wig out if it happens. It’s ok. It’s real, it’s important…but really, it’s only a blink in time.