Introducing Danielle from Keeping Up With The Holsbys. Danielle writes beautifully about her children, and the friendship she hopes they will cultivate through life. 

Five month old Kiki lies on the floor, her eyes training on D Man’s every move. She is transfixed by the golden haired boy; her big brother. He runs back and forth in her line of vision, delighting in the fact that she turns her head to watch him, over and over again. She gazes at him adoringly, startling every now and then at his squeals, and he basks in her attention. Their giggles are like fairy laughter in my ears as I observe these first independent interactions of my first-born son, and new-ish daughter.

This is their earliest play developing, and they are so happy to just be near each other.

My son, D Man, often looks to me with his little arms outstretched –

‘Hold, Baby?’

We set them up so they’re safe and supported and gently put Kiki in his arms, and he just sniffs her and kisses her head…..then he gets bored and he pushes her away so she face plants on the couch and he reaches for a plastic dinosaur with one hand and picks his nose with the other…..but the first part is no less beautiful.

I have high hopes for these two, you know. I really hope that they’re friends in the life they have yet before them. I hope they will be a shoulder for each other, a confidant, and a steady rock in a crazy, uncertain world.

When we were growing up , my brother and I did not have a great relationship from our early ‘tweens until our twenties. I don’t know if that’s just normal, but I’m sad about all of the years we didn’t get along.

We come from a single parent family and Mama Bear was working hard to bring home the bacon, so we had a lot of time to torment each other and for him to beat the proverbial out of me. He was a cranky butt-head, that brother of mine, but he’s now a lovely, gentle, mellow husband and father, and I’m proud to call him my friend.

Disregarding those tumultuous years, when we were little tackers we had a ball. Obviously, I was a pesky little sister and he was an annoying big brother, but there are many early family photos of us just loving the crap outta each other. Images of laughing in the snow, both of us packed like peas in a pod into a sled, playing in the bath, hanging out in the sun in our garden.

It’s a funny old relationship, the sibling one. No one in the world can irritate you as wildly, nor escalate your temper from a mellow 2 to a raging 10 in mere seconds, but ok as it may be to pick on your sibling, look out should anyone else have a crack at them….look out, indeed.

I don’t know how best to encourage a great relationship between my two. Is it just an organic thing or are there ways to nurture the love early on, so that they maintain a level of love and respect for each other?

How can you promote friendship instead of rivalry?

I imagine it comes very much down to personalities. One must bear in mind the old adage of ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’. I guess it’s possible that they’ll grow up to be two different people, with nothing in common except they grew in the same womb, and share the same DNA, but if I was to stimulate a good bond from very early on then, surely, great sibling benevolence can grow?

I vow to do my best to ensure a lifetime friendship grows, if I notice things going awry I will try to help them gently work things out, fairly, and with respect for one another. They are great lessons for life in general, are they not? You can’t wrestle over the last biscuit in your work place kitchen , no matter how dearly you may desire to at 4pm when that sugar low hits.

I will endeavour to give them both time with me on their own, in an effort to prevent rivalry so they both feel comfortable with their place in my heart, yet understand my heart is big enough for them both, or all if, heaven’s above, there are more children in my future!

I also read a piece of advice by NY Times writer Lisa Belkin that you need to let them have a relationship independent of you, as their parent.

They need to have secrets, and with this in mind, they need to have fights, and they need to be able to sort it out between themselves.

As a control freak, micro-manager, I’ll try to bear this in mind, and if allowing a little Lord of the Flies from time to time encourages little people to find their own dynamic, then on the sidelines I shall stand and let bonds blossom, for I have truly high hopes for this pair.

{Linking with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT. Thanks Jess!}