Thursday, February 28, 2013

His brother's keeper

This is one of my favorite pictures of the boys, taken after L's birthday party last summer.

They look so sweet and strong and peaceful, don't they?

And they are sweet and strong and peaceful, for the most part.  But today was hard.  L had three seizures, and all three were M's fault.  I mean, I know the seizures aren't really ever anyone's fault, but he triggered them all. 

It would be hard to be L's older brother.  M does care for L, and he often makes me proud with the way he looks out for him.  But you know how kids like to mess with each other and push each other's buttons.  Of course we teach them to be kind to each other, but I also remember being a kid.  Doing foolish things for basically no reason just comes with the territory.

M triggered the first one this mornings by closing a drawer when L was trying to get something out of it.  Yes, it was on purpose, just to get his goat.  But it was pretty standard teasing, as brothers go. Miles was laughing when he closed it - it was a silly prank, not an evil plan.  It doesn't seem fair that instead of merely annoying his brother like every other big brother in the world, M's bad choices sometimes cause  to have seizures.  It's a lot of responsibility for a four year old to have to bear.  The other two were worse, roughhousing and fighting.  L got hurt twice, and had two seizures in a row.

It's hard, as the parent, to know what to say.  On the one hand, M needs to see the consequences of his actions.  He has to know that he can't antagonize and hurt his brother.  But L isn't innocent either.  Half the time he is the instigator, but when he pushes M to retaliate and ends up having a seizure, M is the one left looking (and feeling) guilty.  And I can hardly bear those guilty feelings myself.  It isn't fair for M to be burdened by them.

The thing is, I don't want to make it all about the seizure: "Don't hurt/annoy your brother, because he might have a seizure."  Like every other mother, I don't want him to hurt or annoy his brother, because it's wrong.  The seizure is just too easy of an object lesson, but it's so severe, for such minor offenses.

I'm not sure how to get the seizures off the table.


  1. Oh, Robin. I'm so sorry.
    My kids bicker and egg each other on all the time--and they are 9 and 12.

    This is so tough. I know you'll handle it exactly right for both of the boys. You have such a great understanding of them on a fundamental level and compassion for them both. You can tell in every word you write. *hugs* --Lisa

    1. I don't know why that posted like that under my other google account. Sorry. It's regular Dose of Reality Lisa.

    2. Thanks, Lisa. You have better faith in me than I have in myself right now. But I appreciate it... I know we'll figure it out, because we have to.

  2. That would be really hard. I totally understand what you're saying, you don't want to use the "seizure card" all the time, but you also want Lennon to NOT have seizures.

    How frustrating for all of you. And I agree with Lisa, you have SUCH a great understanding of them and are so compassionate!! They are both so lucky to be your sons.

    1. Thanks, Tara. We all count ourselves pretty lucky.

  3. Oh, I'm so sorry, Robin. It's awful that Miles feels guilty for Lennon's seizures. I get it when you say everything shouldn't be about the seizures.
    I know it's hard for you - I really, really wish it gets better with time.