| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tales from the Crib

Sibling rivalry is starting to take its toll on the Time Out supermum

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© ITP Images

I can’t recall who said that when Joe starts moving around it will get easier, but when I do remember I’ll be having a few stern words! Joe is crawling, coasting and making a whole manner of other moves at quite a pace. And as he goes one way, Sam goes the other.

As two-year-old Sam goes to flush yet another telephone down the toilet, so Joe goes to see what snacks he can find in the dustbin. As Sam draws on the wall with non-washable pens and sticks crayons up each nostril, Joe quickly crawls away to pull books off the shelves, eat money or slam the glass video cabinet doors. There is no stopping them. They are revolting, in more ways than one.

Joe also thinks that it is endearing to be cheeky. When you ask him where he is going he turns and smiles or laughs, a strange chortle, a bit like one of those devil babies you sometimes see on You Tube. If you tell him to stop he reacts to the tone and the urgency by either speeding up his coasting or crawling faster to the seemingly forbidden destination.

And then there are those activities that were once fun, family pastimes that are now becoming impossible. I’ve looked forward to the cooler weather for so long. The winter is here and I am determined that we will spend as much of it as possible in the great outdoors. As long as that doesn’t involve going it alone to the beach. No way. That is just not happening.

The last time I went, Sam made a dash for the sea just as Joe rolled into a hole, a pretty deep one for a 10-month-old and probably dug the day before by some other eager escapee child. It left me with the hardest decision – the one all parents of two dread the most: Who do I save first? Well, you can’t beat yourself up about these things. Joe seemed pretty content laying on his back in his nicely compacted sandy well, so, I made a dash for Sam who had found something bobbing around in the water that looked slightly more dangerous than the sea itself.

And if I thought the outdoors was a problem, indoors is becoming just as challenging. Mealtimes are impossible with two bubs roving in and out of the kitchen; one reaching for the hob and the other stretching out for the oven. It’s not like I can even restrain them in the double buggy – believe me, I’ve tried. Sam force feeds Joe forbidden milky drinks and other banned products and in return Joe gives Sam a painful eyeful of bread stick.

As Joe masters the flight instinct, it seems he is discovering ‘fight’ too. He is immensely strong for his age and is giving Sam, who’s getting pretty nifty with the left-right jabs himself, a run for his money. Sam clearly isn’t impressed – and this is the hardest thing about Joe’s new-found independence. Sam’s nose has been pushed out of joint and he is pushing Joe’s. Literally. We’ve tried to implement the naughty corner for when Sam is really rough, but we soon realised we were on a hiding to nothing when Sam ran up to Joe, slapped his forehead so hard Joe fell backwards and said, “Go to naughty corner now”.

I quite often find the two grappling on the floor, Joe sitting on Sam’s head, pulling his hair, and Sam grinding Joe’s face deep into the carpet. It gets pretty rough, and there are tears – not always Joe’s. To be honest, I am more worried for Sam right now. Joe is clearly going to be wearing the sparring trousers in our house as he gets older.

I can see I am going to have my work cut out with these two, and I fear that as the years go on, I could possibly be the one on the receiving end of naughty scams and cheeky goings on. And I can honestly say, I can’t wait. Bring it on boys.

By Time Out Kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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