The Hunter becomes the Hunted…

For almost half her life, our three year old middle child has been pushing her little brother around. She loves him, but by all appearances she also loves making him cry – multiple times a day. Disturbingly, I can’t recall her ever displaying any signs of genuine remorse during this time. (I’m sure that’s normal though… Right…?)

For his entire life, our 16 month old son has been pushed around by his older sister. He has been jumped on, pinched, hit, bitten, pushed over, squeezed so tight he could barely breathe, and on at least one occasion kicked (without warning) in the face.

I have spent considerable time defending our little guy against the evil force, but I can’t be everywhere. And so it is with barely concealed delight that I am witnessing him start to fight back.

This morning as I put them both into the car to drive home from the supermarket, our little man yanked his sister’s hair – very hard, and for no reason. She told him to stop, but he just laughed and kept pulling.

Clearly I cannot condone this behaviour, but inside I was jumping up and down with my pom poms. “Give us an “F”, Give us an “L” etc. What’s it spell? What’s it spell?”

On the way home I tried to imagine what it must be like to be tortured your whole life, and then finally develop the skills needed to strike back. How liberating! No wonder his grin has had quite a jubilant air about it lately…

I do feel a twinge of sadness for our girl. She is only three, and already her little brother is as big as she is. I suspect he will soon be stronger, as nimble, and probably as motivated. From now on she will have to rely on her cunning, and not her brawn. I have no doubt she will adapt nicely.

In the meantime, as long as there is no risk of bloodshed or broken bones, I plan to stay out of it. And if she runs to me for comfort, I will try to think of something to say that is slightly more soothing than “What goes around comes around, sweetheart.”

Or not…

Photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin


9 thoughts on “The Hunter becomes the Hunted…

  1. You’re not alone in this. My three year old son is always dishing it out to my seven year old daughter. Sounds disproportionate, right? Well, it is. He is always bopping her on the head, trying to bite her, meanwhile she sits there and does nothing. I call her my “gentle giant.” because she is much bigger, and yet, she won’t retaliate. But I am with you, as long as there’s “no bloodshed or broken bones” the kids can figure it out themselves!

    • Yep. I definitely think our little guy will soon be a ‘physical force to be reckoned with’ too. I have no brothers, so this is all new to me… Any advice you have for his big sisters would be most appreciated!

  2. Oh that makes me laugh! I remember one time when my sister was over, my kids were “having issues”, my sister was getting distressed and I told her how I prefer them to sort it out for themselves before I get involved. Lazy? Sick of being the bad guy? Perhaps, but I prefer to think of it as resilience training! Eventually they work out they’re better off on the same side & save their superior fighting battles for us! Great post Charlotte, xo

    • Love it! Thank you DCShiraz. Next time I hear screams from the next room I shall think of you, smile, and remind myself that resilience training is in progress. I feel like over the last week or so, our house has turned into a Resilience Boot Camp… xx 🙂

  3. Having being tortured by my older brother as a child (have I ever show you my mangulated index finger – from him encouraging me to stick it in an exercise bike or told you about the time he super-glued my hands together with araldite) i’m super proud of your little guy. I also learned to fight back….but i was never bigger unfortunately… that i think about it nor was i smarter….now we’re both in our late thirties with children of our own….but he’s not above giving me the odd chinese burn at a family function when no-one else is watching – seriously.

    • Do I remember??? Recently my Mum told me quite excitedly that she had scored an exercise bike from her neighbour. She was looking forward to incorporating it into a fitness regime.
      Your mangled index finger caused me to lecture her on the dangers of exercise bikes. I think I may have even told her if she wanted the kids to visit ever again she would have to keep it out of bounds. In hindsight, I suppose I could have been nicer about it, but I couldn’t get the image of your finger out of my head…
      Sorry to hear you’re still falling victim to the sneaky chinese burn. Kind of. It’s pretty funny…. 🙂

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