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.”