First of all I have to say that overall Garrison has handled things really well and he absolutely loves his little brother. He likes to check on him in the pack n' play, "hold onto him", kiss him, lay down beside him, watch him get his diaper changed, you name it. He is very hands-on and makes us nervous on a regular basis, but he does everything in the name of love and curiosity.
We haven't seen any signs of jealousy or that he dislikes Austin or isn't okay with mama and daddy taking care of or spending time with Austin. And we are so thankful for that! What we have seen is a sometimes emotional, moody 2 year old. Meltdowns and acting out have become somewhat of a regular thing at our house. And the crazy part about it is that half the time we can't really explain what caused it. Last night Terrell took Garrison's milk out of the refrigerator before supper and Garrison was devestated. Who knew that was such a big deal? Earlier this week I asked him to go potty after he got home from school so he could get ready for his nap (something we do everyday) and he threw a major fit and cried and cried over not wanting to go potty. Where did that come from? Terrell and I both were left scratching our heads. He has had multiple crying spells over not being able to hold Austin, or sit beside him while he's in his bouncy seat, or lay down beside him on his blanket. Sometimes we've just moved Austin to feed him or change his diaper but because Garrison wanted to hold him/sit by him/wasn't ready for him to be moved, he has a meltdown over it.
Garrison has also had some highs and lows lately. He's happily playing and even wound up one minute and the next he's crying and upset. Again there are lots of times when we can't explain why or how the mood change happened. It's really worn on our patience, but at the same time we know that these "episodes" are his was of adjusting so we just dig deep for more patience.
I'm trying to remain positive about how welcoming and loving he's been towards Austin, but there are also times I want to cry with him when he's having a meltdown because I feel like his little world has changed so much and he's just trying to deal with it all. Ugh, guilt rears it's ugly head again. I will say we haven't reverted to letting him get away with whatever he wants. I don't feel that guilty. Ha! There are still consequences for his actions and we still talk about the appropriate way to behave and what's polite/acceptable, what's not. And I do think we're making progress and seeing less and less of the mood swings and meltdowns. Having Granna and Nana over to play with him and spend time with us has been helpful too. I guess the test will come the week after next when I'm on my own all day everyday. I should definitely go ahead and start praying about that!
Disclaimer: We do not let Austin (or Garrison) sleep in the bed with us. These were just sweet moments captured one morning this week before we all started our day.