On the one hand, Arlo is massively caring and surprisingly intuitive when it comes to Rory’s needs. He listens to him. He tells me “Rory isn’t happy, he didn’t want me to leave the room” (Yes, we are going through a bit of separation anxiety when it comes to me or Arlo leaving him).
He takes steps to cheer him up by bringing him toys, tickling him, or running through his ‘guaranteed to make Rory laugh’ comedy act. He speaks up for Rory, asking for him to be included in whatever task is taking place “Rory wants to eat some too”, “Rory wants to play with us too”. “Rory is crying, maybe he needs milk”.
Rory is the first person Arlo goes to in the morning. The first one to get a smile and a cuddle. I predicted that Arlo would be entirely indifferent to his baby brother, and it continues to be a surprise to see how much he genuinely LOVES Rory.
On the other hand, Arlo is massively blind to Rory’s attempts at communicating.
He refuses to acknowledge when he is upsetting Rory, and we are trying (and failing somewhat) to help Arlo process Rory’s signals.
“Listen to him Arlo, I don’t think he wants a cuddle right now. When he cries like that, that means he wants his own space. “Maybe don’t stand right up close to his face, he can’t see you like that, he prefers it when you stand back so he can see your face”. This sort of stuff gets repeated a LOT on a daily basis.
Arlo REALLY loves babies and younger toddlers, and he has this tendency to get right up in their personal space by forcing cuddles upon them, or pressing his face right up against theirs. ‘Baby-bothering’, I call it.
Rory either loves it, or hates it. Usually swinging between the two extremes in a matter of seconds. One day he’ll be big enough to hold his own and push Arlo off, and we’ll have to see how that pans out when we get there. But for now, Arlo holds the dominance card, and he knows it.
This is Arlo and Rory in January. Rory’s new favourite thing is the jumperoo. Arlo is in charge of the music. Arlo hates that he can’t see Rory’s face when he spins around towards the wall, so Arlo goes to great lengths to squeeze himself around the frame and into the tiny little space between the jumperoo and the wall, so that he can continue his up close and personal baby-bothering.
Although Arlo’s over-loving can get a bit much at times, his intentions are clearly very sweet, and it is the loveliest thing to watch how much joy Rory brings him. And despite having his personal space completely invaded ALL THE TIME, Rory’s eyes continue to light up when Arlo enters the room.
This post has been written as part of the newly launched Siblings linky – a photo of your children, together, once a month.
Similar to Me and Mine, there are a number of bloggers hosting the linky, one of whom is Hayley from Shutterflies. Hayley is a fellow family photographer, so not only is she great for a Twitter natter about Lightroom, flashes and owning a Canon 6D, but her site really is a treat for the eyes. Hayley already documents her children’s milestones and birthdays with regular photo series, and I can’t wait to see what the Siblings project adds to her family record.