When I collected the children from the childminder on Thursday LMM had a bite mark on his head. That’s right. A bite mark. On. His. Head.
Shock horror! My baby. Who did this to him?! None other than his dear sister.
Apparently she was trying to draw and he kept trying to grab her paper. That sounds like LMM. He’s very curious, and persistent. While no doubt this was frustrating for LLC, the punishment she administered did not fit the crime.
Back at home I had a chat. Why did you bite your brother? If he’s crowding you or frustrating you ask mommy, daddy or Clarisse (childminder) for help rather than resorting to violence. He’s very little and doesn’t know better. You know biting is not friendly, and you could really hurt LMM. She stares at me with her big brown doe eyes and then tries to change the subject.
LLC, do you understand me? This is important. That behaviour is not acceptable.
Grudgingly she turns back to me. I do. I won’t do it again. And then she’s off.
Yet instances like this keep happening, with what feels like increasing frequency over the last month or so. They’ll be playing nicely together and then –
LLC will drum (i.e. hit) LMM on the back. Her version: I’m just patting him.
Or she’ll push him over. I was just trying to get through.
And then there’s her not so friendly greeting / face squeeze. Helloooo little LMM.
Where is my sweet little lady when this roughhouser comes calling? Most of the time she’s so good with him. Plus she’s young, a bit jealous of the attention he gets and learning to assert herself. Is this natural in a burgeoning sibling relationship? However you cut it, I want her to learn being rough is not cool. Plus if she teaches him these habits, when he’s a bit bigger he’s going to bop her one.
I’m trying to keep my cool with her in these moments. To explain why the ‘said behaviour’ needs to go or to issue warnings or sometimes loss of privileges. But it can be really frustrating! I feel like she knows what I’m saying but just doesn’t listen. Is it pure testing? Whatever it is it’s trying and I’m off again to the next room to hiss a string of frustration and expletives under my breath.
I know with children phases pass, I hope this one does sooner rather than later.