I turn away for one second and ‘bang’.
Here we go again. My one year old boy is flat on his back and screaming after crashing to the floor.
His big sister seized her opportunity to stick the boot in, literally, and is looking up at me with her guilt-ridden eyes.
I scoop the boy up and say to my daughter, sternly: “Tell me, what did you just do to your brother?”
She refuses and the waterworks start.
“I need you to tell me what you did otherwise you won’t be having a birthday party with Rapunzel”.
With her fourth birthday looming, I don’t hang around in bringing this bargaining chip to the table.
“I kicked him”, she eventually replies.
I knew this was likely the case but wanted her to own up to her latest crime.
She’s marched up to her room with the boy still sobbing in my arms, and told exactly why she needs time out.
The problem is I know it’s going to happen again and I have no idea how to stop it.
I’m sandwiched between the two to avoid any chance of an immediate repeat.
The boy has been trying his best to get to his big sister because despite the ever increasing number of blows he’s having to endure, he absolutely adores her.
Some of you might now be thinking welcome to the world of sibling conflict, and to a degree you would be right.
But there is a definite vindictive element to some of her actions.
They aren’t all acts of retaliation because her little brother has pinched one of her toys or pulled her hair because it was in grasping distance.
Out of nowhere you will see her strike – a sneaky kick, a crafty push or a not so subtle smack over the head with a toy.
I understand her brother’s arrival has been a big change to her life and it must be frustrating at times when his needs must be addressed first.
But then I hear from friends who have children of similar ages and say how nice it is that they are starting to play and interact together for long periods of time.
Such a scenario in our house would last less than five minutes before the boy is crying after being on the receiving end of his sister’s foot or whatever toy she’s armed herself with.
She is so loving and caring. A sensitive little girl with wonderful manners.
Of course she has her tantrums like any three year old, but we couldn’t be more proud of her.
I just wish she’d refrain from lashing out at her brother because it’s becoming a problem, and a difficult one to deal with.
Does she not like him? Is she just pushing the boundaries? Is it just jealousy because she’s no longer the baby?
Or am I just overreacting because this is what I’ve got in store for years to come?