Big brothers, little brother

by DaniGirl on June 11, 2009 · 7 comments

in Ah, me boys

I’m endlessly fascinated by the dynamic (trynamic?) among my boys, and the way our parenting style has changed over the years.

When Simon arrived, Tristan was still less than two years old, and one period of babyness blended rather seamlessly into another. With a four year gap between Simon and Lucas, though, I was concerned that the larger gap would make finding a common interest far more difficult.

Even though Tristan was more of a Bob the Builder and Thomas fan, and Simon was more of a Wiggles kind of toddler, they were still largely in the same sort of phases at the same time. By the time Simon was four and Tristan six, their tastes were on a more or less level playing field, and they moved through mutual obsessions with Star Wars and Indiana Jones and straight into the current fascination with (sigh) Pokémon.

And that’s how I have a 16-month old whose first words included reference to Pokémon characters. What’s really endearing, though, is that Lucas calls all of them, from Pikacu to Darkrai to Turtwig, “Baby!” It’s really quite cute. He will gesture at one of Tristan’s multitude of Pokémon drawings (new ones added daily) on the wall, or the screen saver, or the book Tristan is reading, and exclaim “Baby!” I’m not sure why or how Pokémon characters came to be known, quite emphatically no less, as “Baby!” In fact, Lucas will pick the word baby out of a conversation and bring you whatever Pokémon accoutrement is lying nearby.

What’s really interesting to me, though, is how Lucas has drawn his brothers back to the toys and interests that they outgrew years ago. A couple of weeks ago, Lucas found some of Tristan’s old Bob the Builder toys and was immediately drawn to them, I think largely because of Bob’s happy yellow hat. (Lucas had an early fascination with hats, and “hat” was one of his first words. He will also run his hands through my or Simon’s hair and say “hat”.) So we hauled out all the old Bob the Builder toys, and a new obsession was born.

Lucas loves Bob the Builder. He calls all of the characters, from Muck and Scoop to Farmer Pickles and Wendy, “Bob!” He will happily sit and play with the various characters and play sets for long stretches, and my heart swells to see him sitting quietly cross-legged, all by himself, perusing the pages of the Bob book in his lap. He learned the power of his ability to command by gesturing at the TV and demanding “Bob!” When you sing the theme song and pause at just the right spot, he will interject “Bob!” with a vehemence that is utterly charming.

And to my surprise and delight, Tristan and Simon have rediscovered Bob the Builder, too. I thought the boys might resent sharing the TV and DVD player, forced to change the channel from Teletoon drivel like “Total Drama Island” to preschooler favourites, but they’ve been more than indulgent – I kind of think they like it. Tristan has far more patience than I could ever conjure up for imaginary play with the Bob characters and playsets, and my heart nearly bursts when I see him reading Bob books to Lucas.

I’d expected Lucas to be influenced by the tastes of his older brothers, but I didn’t expect Lucas to have such influence over his big brothers. We’re entering a golden time, when they are just the right age to start playing together and enjoying each other’s company. I’m sure it won’t last, but I’ll milk it for all it’s worth while I can.

Moments like these are too precious and too few, and I treasure them like gold.

137:365 Sand and water table

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amber June 11, 2009 at 9:56 am

Aw! There’s really nothing better than watching your kids get along and enjoy each other. That’s what I say. 🙂

2 Meghan June 11, 2009 at 10:38 am

I have two brothers who are 10 years younger than me. I loved watching all the oldies with them-Polka Dot Door, The Green Forest. It was great to have that age gap. Also made me feel like I was a role model.

3 alison June 11, 2009 at 11:22 am

That’s great that they get along so well. Most of the time. My girls are the same. And I think that when Rachel came along and started commandeering her share of the tv time, Leah was secretly glad to be able to watch some of the shows that she had deemed too ‘babyish’ to watch anymore.

4 Sheila June 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Beautiful post! Our triplets are 9 now and don’t love Bob the Builder any more, or the Wiggles either. It is sad (for me) to pass those things along to other younger families, although we enjoy the new obsessions with Webkinz, Harry Potter etc. I would be delighted to do Bob the Builder all over again, and I still know the words to a LOT of Wiggles, Raffi and Fred Penner songs! Sounds like you will have a golden summer with your family.

5 Ari June 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Not having children of my own yet, I can’t really relate but that’s fascinating to read. And what a sweet picture of your group!

6 Ernesta Rossi June 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Nice blog post about brothers getting along well together. Family harmony is precious! @danigirl

7 ewe_are_here June 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I have the same gap with my two boys… and it’s worked out really well so far.

I hope wee three, who should arrive soon, finds her place with them as yours has…

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