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.