When people ask me how it was to go from one to two children, I tell them that it was super easy for me. Paul was around a lot, I had grandparents helping with Vincent, I wasn't in school, and I was mentally prepared for the changes that were to come.
Vincent didn't have such luck. Gaining a sister was brutal for this guy. He had just turned two and his little ego was not prepared to share his parents, toys, time, space, air... you get the idea. We've had small stretches where it seems like they're getting along. Then a week goes by and Vince is back to pushing, crushing, squeezing and yanking on Kate. The hardest transition was moving to Michigan. His world was turned upside down with such force that any progress we had made was erased entirely. Hitting, screaming, and crying were full fledged whenever the delicate balance of life was thrown off kilter. Our sweet boy was becoming quite sour.
It has been hard... like, really hard, to be patient through this particular rough patch. Some say it's a natural part of having a 1 & 3 year old, but when I make the mistake of looking at other families, I don't see this much discord. It was progressing to the point where I didn't want to take Vince to nursery for fear of what report I'd get when I picked him up after church. I steered clear of the park to avoid situations where he would hit other kids. As if having this struggle wasn't enough, I could feel the judgmental stares of other parents making me feel like I was a bad mother. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many good people though. The kind words I've received from friends and family has made all the difference and gave me hope that this really would pass.
Slowly, we're getting back into a routine. Vincent has even stopped asking if we're going back to the hotel (We lived there for over a month, so I can't really blame him)! And then it started happening. I began seeing little flashes of kindness: choosing to share, not screaming when she climbs on his toys, laughing when she knocks over his tower, using his words when someone upsets him. It has been a breath of fresh air to hear the kids laughing together instead of crying together. He's still a kid and he has his moments, but overall, it seems like we're out of the woods.