Thursday, June 3, 2010

There's a Big Difference Between...

...(almost) eight...
...and...

...five.
* picture taken by Emily on Memorial Day

Josiah and David are such good buddies that I often forget their two-year-and-ten-month age gap. They usually play well together, finding common ground that they both enjoy, sharing many of the same interests. Of course, Josiah's abilities in certain areas surpass David's; but in general, they seem to be on the same level in many ways, leading me to forget that almost three years separate them.

But recently, I've noticed their age difference; and here's why:
A certain two-year-old lives in our house and occasionally often does things that bother his older brothers. That's just where he's at during this stage of life; when he acts age-appropriately, it's sometimes annoying. And all of us were two once and did annoying things - myself included - so I'm not casting stones.

The way Tobin and David interact is a little like coarse sandpaper rubbing together, or like a broken tailpipe rubbing on the interstate as an old clunker roars down the road. It's not uncommon to see sparks fly. I've mentioned before that they know how to push each other's buttons, and David doesn't yet have the common sense and self-control to consistently avoid Tobin's buttons.

Josiah does. It's very enlightening to simply watch and listen to my boys as they interact together, especially if they have no idea I'm observing them. I smile when I hear Josiah saying things to Tobin in a gentle, cheerful, slightly high-pitched voice; that's Josiah's modus operandi when Tobin annoys him, rather than the harsh "No, Tobin!" that flies out of David's mouth. If Tobin comes over to Josiah and takes one of the Narnia figurines that he was playing with, Josiah might say something like, "Tobin, can I have that back? Here's a ball you can hold instead." And Tobin responds so well to him. I should add, *most of the time,* because certainly Josiah and Tobin aren't perfect in how they act towards each other. But in general, Josiah displays an inspiring level of kindness and maturity towards Tobin, and I'm so appreciative of that.

The next time I see David jump on the tricycle just to annoy Tobin or screech something at him, let me remember that he's only five...and in three years' time, he'll be much more mature in how he relates to little brothers, too.

3 comments:

Morning said...

It's a skill we all need to learn -- and perhaps Josiah is also just naturally a good social communicator. I know plenty of adults who need to learn how to deal with difficult or annoying people!c

Tim and Michelle said...

I can very much relate to this...as our 2 year old (now 3!) often annoys her older siblings and our 5 year old responds similarly!

Misty said...

I think a lot of is is age and maturity but I think that some of it may also just be personality. Trinity (5) is SO MUCH BETTER at dealing with Elissa's(2) annoyances than Houston (4). She tries to avoid conflict whereas Houston is often creating it. I hope though for our sake that they do grow out of it!