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Babies and Their Older Siblings

Babysugar Diaries: When a Sibling Wreaks Havoc

One of the first things my pediatrician said upon the arrival of baby number two was, "If you leave the room, put the baby in the pack and play so big sister can't hurt him." All was splendid. My lass fawned over her brother and caressed his bald head ad nauseam. A well-mannered tot, I knew I need not worry about my daughter . . . yet. A few months into our routine, I put my son in his swing where he rocked off to sleep for a morning siesta. I brought my daughter back to my room where she watched cartoons and I showered.

Through the shower curtain, I kept my eye on her, making sure she was staying put in her cocoon. While I rinsed my hair, I thought to myself, she's getting to the point where I should monitor their interactions more closely. Hint: pack and play. After toweling off, I checked the status of both children. In five minutes, nothing had changed. Pushing my luck, I decided to blow-dry my bangs. To see what happened,


As I dried off, I noticed my lass slip off the bed and run down the hallway. Rarely a troublemaker, I didn't pay much attention to her disappearance. She returned about three minutes later (bangs were still wet) and had a sheepish look on her face. I asked her, "Is your brother still sleeping?" She slowly shook her head. Though I was alarmed, I calmly asked her, "What is he doing?" Knowing it was probably not the correct answer, she said, "He's having tummy time!" In an instant, I dropped everything and ran to the living room.

Somehow, my 23-pound, 2-year-old child had picked up her brother, who weighed about half her body mass, and dragged him across the room. He was not having tummy time, but laying on his back on the rug staring at the ceiling without any scratches, bruises, or marks of distress. I asked her to demonstrate her technique with a teddy bear, but she knew better than to claim her guilt. It will remain a mystery how she snaked him safely onto the ground. Until he's running on his own, I'll be taking him with me when I know there's a chance she could wreak havoc. Do you have a similar story to share?

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