When we first brought Girlio home, as in love with her as we were, we were terrified that we had ruined the equilibrium of our happy home. Because Boy-o was miserable. Mad. All kinds of out-of-whack. He did not want a sister. He did not need another baby. And he felt quite strongly (and vocally) that we should agree with him on these points. "Put the baby down" and "Put the baby on the floor" were the two most common phrases heard from him. She was a tough freaking sell. Things got a bit better after the first three months, and we settled into a period of him ignoring her presence altogether. And then she started to crawl around and get into his shit. Not a particularly good sibling period there either. Things got ugly. Often.
I envied (to the point of bitterness) the experience of other parent's whose older siblings "just loved the new baby." I wondered what we had done wrong, and if Boy-o would ever accept this interloper as his own. And I spent a lot (a lot, a lot, a lot) of time juggling the very competing interests of my two smalls.
Then somewhere between 18 and 19 months old, Girlio started to get more interesting to Boy-o. He started laughing at her (not in the ridiculing way, but more like in the holy-crap-that-kid-is-funny-way) and finding her entertaining. It wasn't all of the time, or even necessarily often, but there were some moments in which Girlio was beginning to be tolerable. L. and I began to wonder if the tides were turning.
Girlio is 22 months old now. And she has really, really worked freaking hard to win her big brother's affection. And it is a testament to her charm and character that she seems to have fought the good fight and won! The sibling friction still definitely occurs - and it's still challenging because both my babies are hotheads - (no idea where they get this from).
BUT - yesterday, I turned around from whatever I was doing on the computer (likely Facecrack, because I have no life), and my kids were sitting down on the living room floor. Together. Having a tea party. At the same time. With the same toy s. In a sharing and cooperating sort of way. In an enjoying each other's company kind of way. I just about cried. (Okay, I might've cried just a little). And it lasted a full five minutes before someone clobbered someone else.
So - it took almost two years- but maybe there's hope that I won't spend my days constantly pulled in two competing directions.
And maybe - just maybe - we didn't ruin anyone's lives.