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img_9422“But he took my place, school is mine and he took it”

Sigh. Toby started “big boy school” (primary) this week, and I have been all a flutter wondering how he will fare, what his little mind and body will take in the new routine and making sure that he enjoys himself without the anxiety that often envelopes me in new situations.

I haven’t even really considered Reuben. Shit.

Reuben’s attitude when he’s been picked up from school has been diabolical. The first day I collected the boys and it was like someone had injected the child with red bull. He was crazy, shouting at his little friends as we walked down to the car because they had a football card folder and he wasn’t allowed to bring his, screaming at me and threatening to throw things at me because I refused to let him sit in the front of the car without a car seat and just generally behaving in a way that, honestly, he’s not behaved before. So why?

Well it’s quite simple really, he feels like he’s been usurped. School was exclusively his, something he didn’t share with anyone in the family and now… he has a sibling… in the same class. Ouch.

If you think about it, Reuben shares a room with Toby. He shares a sister with Toby. Shares toys, parents, grandparents, the pets, TV and even sometimes food (though very infrequently – I’ve been known to stab a fork at my husband for trying to “share” with me so I’m not too pushy on that front). It makes sense that when he found something exclusively for him, something that didn’t involve the rest of the family, he would take it and run with it. Have a sense of pride in it. And then poof, like the last spring roll on take out night, it’s not there anymore.

As Reuben and Toby are close in age they are in the same classroom, and Toby has already told me that he tries to play with Reuben sometimes but to no avail. Fortunately there haven’t been any ructions at school (yet) and both boys seem to have send each other off in opposite directions from the gates, play with their own friends and get on with it all. But when that bell rings and it’s time to come home and spend even more time together, that is when it spills forward for Roo. So what to do?

Well short of selling one of them (which is illegal, eBay simply won’t allow it) we are trying to think of alternatives to still allow Reuben to feel like he is the “big boy” in the house. So far, we’ve been having a Friday night movie night with him. After his brother and sister go to bed at 7pm, he is allow d to sneak back downstairs and watch a movie with mummy and daddy until late. It seems to be working, and persuading him that he has to behave throughout the week and go to bed on time, not beat his siblings or drop an f-bomb etc (you know, the usual) in order to “earn the tread. We’ll keep plugging away at it, but I can honestly say in all my flapping over Toby’s nerves and my own upset at seeing my “baby boy” go to big school, I really forgot someone important.

My big boy. Who is still only 5. Still needs reminding he’s special and is still trying to navigate his world without a true understanding of how to.

Did you find this? Any tips?

H x

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