Friday, July 25, 2008

Marking His Territory

Max has been such a gentle and affectionate brother to his baby sisters. I can't stand how cute he is with them. He kisses their heads and rests his cheeks on the top of their heads, closing his eyes and rubbing against them ever so softly. Then he looks up and me and exclaims "she smells good."

I'm trying, but failing miserably, not to nag him about his behavior with regards to these girls. I don't want him to feel jealous, alienated or resentful towards them. It's quite hard, because I have to constantly remind him not to jump on the bed (when they are laying on the bed), not to squeal loudly in their faces, sometimes to keep quiet or stop touching them while they are sleeping or trying to fall asleep, etc. He has stormed out of the room a few times when I have shown my aggravation with him.

A couple of days ago I sent him into the baby room to get me a few diapers. Apparently, he couldn't find them, because he came back empty handed. When I got up to fetch the diapers myself, I noted that the carpet was wet, in front of the changing table. When I asked Max about it, he ran into another room, just before announcing that it was "pee-pee." I lost my patience and yelled at him before sending him to his room, where I told him to go to sleep (it was late anyway, but Max doesn't yet sleep in his bedroom, by himself). I felt awful afterwards. He was asleep in about two minutes. After he fell asleep, I picked him up and carried him back to my room, because I couldn't stand to have my sweet, impish, little man banished.

I wondered if it was a coincidence that he peed in their room or if he was simply marking his territory. Max has experimentally peed in other places before, so it wouldn't have been the first time he emptied somewhere inappropriately. On the other hand, I have read stories about children reacting to a new baby in exactly this way. Maybe I'll never know, but I do know that I need to step up my efforts to make sure Max doesn't feel like everything he does is wrong.

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