Sunday, February 7, 2016

Brotherly Love to Brotherly Shove

So...for nearly three years, Jacob has wanted almost nothing to do with Carter.  At first he ignored him and kept his distance, and then he started avoiding him like the plague, actively running in the other direction.  And now, a week before Carter's third birthday, we've had a shift.  Perhaps he's just hit a new stage of boredom in his recovery, but suddenly he is obsessed with playing with Carter.  I wish I could say this was a good thing.  On some level I'm sure it is, but right now, it has become an impossible situation. 

A few days ago, perhaps helped along by Craig, they started playing sports in the living room together.  Jacob is obviously still in his cast, but he's taken to crawling around the house a lot of the time.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, but if he's not in any pain, hopefully it's fine.  If anything it helps bring him down to Carter's level a bit, both height-wise and agility-wise.  They've been playing soccer (with a very soft ball), football (with a small nerf ball), and hockey (mini sticks and a squishy puck).  And while all of the games start out fine, they go downhill very quickly.  Someone gets hurt, Jacob gets annoyed when Carter doesn't follow the rules, or a wrestling match ensues that could lead to more injuries. 

Jacob is constantly asking Carter if he wants to play, which under so many circumstances would be music to my ears, but now it just makes me cringe because I know what's coming.  The boys have been sent to their rooms about a dozen times this weekend, almost exclusively because they need to be separated and calm down.  They both get so worked up and so wild that we have to separate them before something happens.  And every time they come back out of their rooms, Jacob is immediately trying to get another game going.  And no matter how many times we encourage them to do something else or find another way to play together, it always goes down the same frustrating road.  It has been an exhausting weekend.

We've been waiting three years for Jacob to realize he can play with his brother, and now we find out they're completely incompatible because they can't help but beat each other up and fight about everything.  Carter has a special gift for being sneaky while looking sweet, but he's very determined, so backing down is rarely an option.  Jacob has absolutely zero self-control, which means he can't stop himself from pulling Carter down or playing tug-of-war with a ball until Carter flies backward into something.  He will wave a hockey stick around even more than Carter will, but of course Carter has to follow suit, so it inevitably becomes a stick-swinging affair.  Sometimes even one of Jacob's crutches becomes the weapon of choice.  Great, huh?  We've had a few injuries, though most have been pretty minor.  But there's potential for a lot worse, which is why we have to keep them apart after a certain point.  It's incredibly frustrating. 

I know I should be grateful that we have this tiny bit of progress, but right now I'm just tired of yelling and sending boys to their rooms. 

In other frustrating news, Carter has fought his nap for the last two days.  Yesterday we left him in there for more than two hours, and he never slept.  He ended up falling asleep on the way to dinner after we stopped in to Jacob's lacrosse game to say hi.  Jacob fell asleep, too, for that matter.  As I type today Carter is still fighting his nap after more than two hours because we're going to a Superbowl party in an hour and I was desperate for him to nap.  UGH.  This is bad.  Naptime is so important because it is my only sanity with these two crazy boys being in the same house, especially when Craig is working.  Luckily that's not an issue this weekend, but it will be for a number of weekends to come.  As you can imagine, this has me in no rush to change over the crib.  I'm also less convinced the rail I found will work on the crib because of how our converted crib has a small lip that holds the mattress in.  So, we appear to be on hold for the moment. 

The other significant development this weekend is that I chopped my hair.  I guess you could say I'm back to my mom 'do.  It's rather short, as short as it's been since Jacob was two!  I actually loved it this short, going back at least 10 years, but I guess once Jacob started needing more haircuts, mine became less frequent.  I got lazy, and it gradually got longer and longer.  It was probably at its longest when Carter was born, and once it was in his face and he was grabbing fistfuls, that's when I started cutting it around my shoulders again.  But I finally got sick of it looking stringy and lifeless, even at that length (hormones?), so off it has come.  I actually had to go back to the salon after I came home and styled it myself, because it needed some editing along the hairline in the back.  I also panicked a little that it was too short, and I'm still not 100% sold on the shape of it, but it's so much better short because it looks fuller and healthier.  I can edit it more easily now that it's this short.  It always takes a leap of faith to go this short, but had I gone any longer I'd probably be unhappy with it.  It can grow a little bit and still be short enough, so that's good too.  I may have just become a stereotype again, but oh, well.  I'll look nicer doing it.

Well, I guess it's time to retrieve the yelling, unnapped child from his room and start getting ready to leave for the party.  My two wine coolers will be well-earned tonight.

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