Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Since Colin joined our family, we've always said it's a blessing that he has two older brothers. Given his challenges, it's nice to have two older brothers to push him (we didn't mean literally 'push' him, but of course that happens a lot), two older brothers he could aspire to be like.

It turns out that's happening. Colin aspires to be like his older brothers. Yet I wonder if that's always a good thing.

I snapped this photo at breakfast this morning. As I've written about before, Matthew has developed a slightly bad habit of sitting in front of the heating unit underneath the kitchen sink in the morning. His older brother gets dressed first thing in the morning, but Matthew stays in pajamas until the bus is minutes away. It's gotten to the point where Matthew actually eats his breakfast on the floor, in front of the heat, under the sink, in his pajamas, demanding that we fill his cereal bowl and hand it to him. He eats bowls of cereal, bagels, English muffins, bananas, etc. while sitting on the floor. And I've let this happen.

As of this week, Colin is a full-fledged student. So Colin is now on the same schedule as the older two. Unfortunately, he's also following some of the same routines as the older two. This morning, when I gave Matthew a banana to start his breakfast, he took his usual seat on the floor. Colin demanded the same privilege. As a pushover, I obviously gave in.

The photo shows Colin and Matthew starting their day eating breakfast on the floor. Little brother is taking after big brother. Bad habits continue. Dad enables them.

When it came time for a bowl of cereal, we were able to get Colin into a seat at the island. He sat next to his brother Joshua, and I was glad to see a more proper form of eating.

Of course, the brotherly influenced continued, and the two of them – the massive 7-year-old who looks 10 and the tiny 3-year-old who looks 2 – began fighting. Colin grabbed Josh's spoon. Josh yelled at him and gently hit him. Colin hit him back. Josh yelled. Colin grabbed his spoon. Josh gently hit him. Colin hit him back ... I began to think maybe Colin would be better off on the floor, for a quiet bowl of cereal next to his other older brother.

Older brothers ... are we still sure this is a good thing?

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