Yesterday William yanked a handful of hair from his sister's head. Today at the Early Years, he hit another boy in a fight over a toy and left a red mark on his face. Those are some of the worst offences, but there have been many more instances of hitting, kicking, scratching and throwing. He's getting more and more physical with other kids and with me. I'm told he must be going through something: a growth spurt, illness, etc. Or perhaps he's over-tired, but he has only himself to blame for that. He fights sleep even more than he fights me.
When he's defiant, or physical, or both, I call him on it and his bubble bursts. His bravado becomes tears. He wants a hug. He says "I love you Mommy" and "I'm sorry I hurt you and Jadzia." We talk about hitting and why it's not allowed. We talk about how to get what we want with words. We talk. We talk. We talk. And the next day, it starts all over again.
I was like this, I remember. Oh, yes, this is all from my side. It took me a long time to make any real friends in school, because when I met kids I couldn't bully the way I bullied my siblings, I didn't know what to do with myself. First I acted crazy and noone wanted to be my friend, and then I became shy and everyone made fun of me. I'm confident that my son will not become a murderer just because he hits at the age of three, but I would like him to have an easier time than I did in elementary school.
In the mean time I'll keep telling him I love him, trying to avoid love-testing experiments. What is a love-testing experiment, you ask? It goes like this, do something that you observe your younger sibling getting away with (ie pulling hair). When you get in trouble, think to yourself "HA! That proves that they love her more!"