I’m very conscious of Felix’s world – a weird place at times where he is not the eldest, not the youngest but sometimes acts as such.
I am conscious we will soon be looking at some Sibshop type experience for him where he can be with other brothers and sisters of kids with special needs to learn some more coping skills and to realise that he is not isolated in his mixed and sometimes deeply conflicted emotions about having a brother like Oscar.
I am conscious of creating a very safe environment for Felix to express how he is feeling about Oscar and that whatever those emotions are it is OK and that we can get through it together.
After feeling rotten all day and not just for the glowing breast but for the yelling at my kids this morning and also the grim feelings around all the barking at Felix over the last few weeks about his behaviour/tone/attitude towards Oscar, he and I were having a quiet chat on the lounge tonight.
I’m not even sure how it started. I think it started with me saying something along the lines of thank you for finishing cleaning their room, even though there were lots of fights and carry-on between him and Oscar.
Anyway, as it unfolded, he very quietly said, ‘sometimes he makes me so angry I feel like I could strangle him’. And you could see just as clearly how scared he was to say it out loud as how conflicted it made him feel to think something like that about his own brother.
So we talked about it, about how it was perfectly understandable to feel that way sometimes but that nothing.good.ever.comes.from.anger.
We went over the exit strategies again – when you start to feel frustrated to tell him, to ask him to stop, to move away, to find me or Dad.
And I reiterated, ‘nothing good ever comes from anger,’ and told him how I should have waited until I was calm to talk to them about the state of their room and that I had felt pretty low all day after yelling at them that morning.
And he just said, ‘Oh mum, that’s OK,’ and gave me a big kiss and cuddle.
Until the glowing breast said that was enough.