Now I do not pretend that they are perfect siblings that never fight. The fight, A LOT. It usually involves her following him, copying him, using something of his, or knocking down something he built. Basically her acting like the 2 year old she is.
However, if she is every in trouble, scared, crying, hurt. He is right there by her side. Picking her up, holding her hand, helping her through. The levels of empathy and compassion that I see out of him is amazing and ignites my soul.
It wasn't always this way. We used to worry about him because he didn't seem to show a ton of empathy for others. If we were at the park and a child started crying he usually scowled at them, even if it was a friend. Seemingly saying, you are ruining my park time, be quiet!
Apparently the love of a sibling is deep and innate and it brings out the empathy that is there, buried and young.
Last night was one of those nights. They were taking a bath together and to say it was getting a little wild and crazy was an understatement. I was sitting right outside the door listening and had warned them to cut it out and calm down (before you get all "bad mom" on me, we have a small bathroom, and I'm pregnant, I was literally right outside the bathroom door). I was getting up to go in there and calm them down when I heard the horrible thud.
I ran in and the youngest (who tends to stand in the tub) had slipped when they were playing tug o war with a toy and caught her chin on the end of the tub. Skipping all the gory details of the yelling, discipling and blood, everyone was okay. While I was getting her cleaned up and ready for bed i noticed her brother sitting sadly and solemnly on the edge of the his bed. I asked him what was wrong and he didn't answer. I asked him if he wanted to get up and come to his sister and he did.
He walked up and gave her a hug and said "I'm sorry you got hurt Peanut. You know I would never do anything to hurt you, I didn't push you down."
Now I realize that part of that was for Dad, who was really mad (more so for all the water that was flooding our bathroom floor). He wanted dad to know that this was not his fault. It didn't make it any less sweet.
While daddy was out trying to find small butterfly closure band-aids (we only had medium and they cover her whole chin) I told them I would read them one story. Monkey agreed to let Peanut cuddle with him in his bed. He made room for her, put his arm around her and stroked her hair. He told her he would do "only nice things to make her feel better". He kept holding her hand so she wouldn't touch her chin. Let me tell you I barely got through the Thomas story without breaking down.
Before I left I showed Peanut the scar on Monkey's eyebrow where he had gotten stitches. We were still a little concerned that a trip to the ER to close the wound would be necessary and I wanted to prep her so she wouldn't be scared. I told her how brave her brother was, how brave she was. They wanted to sleep together so that Monkey could "look after her". Since I was about to start crying I agreed.
I ran downstairs and held the monitor to my ear, it's been dropped so many times that even though it's a great monitor, their whispers are not as clear as they used to be. I couldn't hear everything but he told her she was brave and he knew it hurt but she would be okay.
These moments are why we had more than one child. This is why I wanted a big family. So that when we aren't there they will have each other. To love and care for each other.
*In case you think my children are angels, while writing this Peanut took a wooden orange and hit Monkey in the head for no good reason. Sibling love over, we now return to our regularly scheduled day of squabbles and fights.