We had a scare with baby John the other day. I had him strapped into his bouncy and needed to tell Paul something. I walked from the living room, through the kitchen, and out onto the back deck. I wasn’t away from the baby for more than a minute when Nathan came running to the back door. Nathan didn’t even need to say anything; he opened the sliding glass door and the look of panic on his face said it all. We could hear the baby screaming through the open door, so I ran inside and Nathan kept crying that he was so sorry.
I darted into the living room and could hear the screaming. I saw the bouncy was unbuckled but John wasn’t in it! In my panic, I yelled to Paul that I couldn’t find him. And then I saw him on the other side of the cofee table, laying on his back, screaming while he flailed his little arms and legs in the air. I quickly scooped him up and brought him to my chest. He didn’t have a mark on him. No red marks, no bruises, nothing. Thankfully!
So here’s basically what happened: Since the baby was a little fussy, Nathan wanted to help him feel better. He’s seen me and Paul move John from the bouncy to the Bumbo seat, so Nathan thought he would do the same thing. Only before Nathan could get the baby to the Bumbo seat, John slowly slipped out of his arms and landed on his bottom. Then he fell backwards and his head hit the floor. Not hard enough to cause damage (thank God) but enough to piss him off and make him cry.
Nathan didn’t get into any trouble for this. Not only because did he not do this out of maliciousness, but he did the BEST thing by IMMEDIATELY coming to tell us. He didn’t shut down. He didn’t ingore the baby or try to cover up what he did. He didn’t try to quiet the baby to keep from gettting into trouble. He immediately ran to get me and Paul. The panic he felt at possibly hurting his brother completely overrode any fear of getting into trouble himself.
Nathan’s only four, and that’s HUGE. This shows me that Nathan has empathy and places other’s needs above his own.
So Paul took Nathan into his room, sat him down, and explained why he can never, ever pick up the baby unless Mommy and Daddy are there to help. Nathan bawled his little eyes out and then came into the living room to hug his brother and tell him how sorry he was. It took me a while for my legs to quit shaking and for the blood to travel back to my head. That scared me half to death. Hearing my baby cry, not seeing him, and imagining something awful like a broken bone or blood everywhere.
This all happened a few days ago, and Nathan still talks about how he’s sorry he dropped his baby brother. He’s trying to make up for it by giving John lots of love. He’s even been carrying John to bed- with my help, of course. I walk behind Nathan with my hands under John’s arms while Nathan holds the baby close to his chest.
I’m sure that in the forseeable future, there will be many more episodes of one of the boys getting hurt by the other. The life of brothers!