Brothers may love, hate or ignore each other. It is really wonderful to see your children playing together, sharing sweets and making fun. But it is not always like that. Let me tell you my story about the relationship development of my two sons. For the sake of this text let´s call the older one Brainy Smurf (as this character really fits to his four-year-old nature) and the younger one Baby Smurf.

When I was pregnant with my second child I knew things won´t be easy. The two-year-old Brainy didn´t want to sleep during the day. He discussed every sentence I said. He was full of angre. He complained about anything he could. And when the Baby was born Brainy lost his dominion, he was left in doubts and insecurity which lead to many unpleasant situations. It started with peeing in the middle of the living room and a few months later finished in wilful kicking the little crawling creature of Baby whenever he was passing by.

Things changed a bit at the moment when Baby stood up and started walking. At that very moment he „grew“ in his brother´s eyes from an infant to a partner. And as Baby loved Brainy from the beggining (I don´t know why), their relationship started to develop.

During the second common year their relationship seemed to be better and better. Baby happily parroted everything he saw and Brainy had a great fun – doing silly things during lunch, squealing in the car, yelling at the poor pets or splashing water out of the bath – together. Of course there still were many punches, slaps and kicks. On both sides, I must admit. „Nooo! You can´t do that, Baby Smurf! You´re too small!“ was to be heard at least ten times a day. When a visiting child wanted to take something from Baby, Brainy helped the child with a great satisfaction. And Baby cried and cried…

At this very moment I must say that Baby was often ill. It was more annoying than serious. His immature immune system was very weak. This once lead to a situation when I had to call for an ambulance. At that very moment there was only me, my sons and Granny. As Granny was a scared stiff and I was keeping watch on the health state of Baby Smurf, Brainy was there to face the whole situation. It was him who had to fetch nappies, pyjamas and some clothes for his brother, he had to lock the dog and open the gate for an ambulance. In his four years he was the most reliable and useful person. After the ambulance left with his brother and mummy, he allowed himself to cry. Than the four-year-old Brainy asked his Granny: „Is Baby Smurf going to die?“ – „No,“ said Granny, „they will help him in hospital.“ – „But Grandpa went to the hospital as well and he died in there!“

After two days spent in hospital Baby told me: „Want Bainy!“ At the very same moment Brainy at home told Daddy: „It´s  a pity Baby isn´t here. I miss him.“ The day we returned home we met a boy at a sandpit who wanted to take a toy out of Baby´s hands. „Hey, stop it! He is MY brother!“ shouted Brainy and clenched his fists.

Every relationship needs time to develop. It costs a lot of work and nerves. Sometimes even more. But it´s worth the effort. It is really wonderful to see your children playing together, sharing sweets and making fun. Though sometimes there are punches, slaps and kicks. On both sides…