Beating up on the big brother.

After raising my first penis person for almost five years, and upon learning I would be producing yet another penis person, I thought to myself “Oh shit, this will be easy.”  I thought I’d mastered all that was boy with my first penis person and he’d turned out pretty damn remarkable.  I knew the difference between Optimus Prime and Megatron.  I could name most of the characters in Cars.  I knew that Wolverine was more than just Michigan’s state animal.  I had began to understand that boys simply play differently and that it usually involved a nice blend of superheros and swords and being really, really loud and rowdy.


Then came the wee penis person.  He started off fairly right on course with his brother.  He was pleasant and happy and loving.  But something has changed in my wee little one in the past year.  He has become slightly sadistic and mean.  I used to think that this was because he was the youngest and was therefore toughening himself up and eagerly training for the inevitable sibling rivarlry that was sure to come.  But my oldest adores his baby brother and treats him gently and kindly.  He rarely raises his voice to him and has never raised his hand to slap or shove or punch.  In fact, quite the opposite.


The toddler is the one who hits with a force not expected for someone of  his small stature.  He pulls sneak attacks and will silently wander up behind you unaware and promptly bite you and then take off running, squeeling with glee.  Toys are considered projectile weapons to him and he flings them at your head with pretty amazing precision.  He assembles aresenals of sticks and bats and poles and rods to beat on us with.  He hides them and, like a magician, pulls them seemingly out of nowhere whenever the mood strikes him.  Just when we think we’ve confiscated them all……he dismantles my broom and uses the handle to pummel us…..all while saying “OW OW OW OW”, with an angelic little smile plasterd on his precious face.  I think the wee penis person is apparently far too young to realize that the person saying “OW” is usually the one BEING hit, not the HITTER.


The wee one isn’t generally inclined to giving big sloppy baby kisses.  So when he started pulling your face close to his with his little cherub mouth open for what appeared to be a smooch, I was excited.  That excitement has been pretty short lived.  He has quickly come to realize that he can entice you close enough to his face with the promise of a kiss……and then will instead head butt you or bite your nose or your cheek.  Its the ultimate bait and switch.


He is my rough and tough little teddy bear.  He plays HARD….and when he’s angry he lashes out even HARDER.  Where my older one loves to cuddle…and BE cuddled, the little penis person would rather smack and hit and fight.  He has, in fact, busted momma’s lip more than once with his hard little head.  And its completely INTENTIONAL.  And that’s what worries me.  He takes great delighful joy in causing pain.  He watches for that desired reaction.  And if its not quickly forthcoming, he will try even harder to make the next injury count.


The older penis person has tried to be patient.  He LOVES LOVES LOVES his baby brother and doesn’t quite understand the little one’s need to hit him so often.  When Joshua raises his hand abruptly near Nicklas, Nicklas winces and braces himself for the smack or punch that he’s sure will follow.  Since the conception of the wee penis person, we’d instructed Nicklas that he should always be kind and careful and gentle with the smaller one.  What we’d never been prepared for was the idea that we would need to instruct the older one to go ahead and defend himself when necessary.  To be certain, I monitor the kids deligently when they play together.  But on the off chance that Joshua super ninja sneaks up on Nicklas and I’m not around, Nicklas has been given permission to defend himself.  Some might think I’m setting myself up for LOTS of future injuries.  Some might say I’m condoning the penis people to fight with one another.  But I think more along the lines of this……why on earth should Nicklas feel compelled to be Joshua’s punching bag?  Why should he endure being stomped on by tiny powerful feet while he’s just lying on the floor watching cartoons?  I don’t think its fair for him to be pelted in the head with a metal pole that mysteriously came from God knows where and just be told to shrug it off and get over it because “Joshua is smaller than him”.  Tiny stature doesn’t always take in to account brute baby brother strength.


Joshua has his days when he is loving and kind.  There are also many moments when the twinkle in his eyes is NOT a prelude to mischief and a plot to harm.  But it changes from moment to moment and you never know if that smile is genuine or if he’s lulling you in to a false sense of security.  I’m not sure exactly how to change this behavior.  I fear that spanking him in these instances will simply reinforce the idea that hitting is a means of getting your way or resolving a conflict.  And that’s obviously the opposite of what I want him to learn.  But I also desire a household NOT conducted based on the will of a very willful smaller person.