It's time to admit the truth. My Bud-bud, buddy boy, peek-a-boo buddy, handsome man is...gulp, I can't believe I'm actually going to admit it, a horribly naughty, boys boy, annoying little brother. Sigh. The past month or so Anne and Jamie have been fighting like cats and dogs. Ok, like puppies and kittens. The play wrestling that starts out fun but ends in a bite mark and licking of the wounds. Every time I leave them alone for more than 5 minutes, at exactly the 5 minute and one second mark I hear screaming and crying. Almost always on Anne's part because Jamie hit her, pulled her hair, broke something, sat on her or tackled her. I tell Jamie "No, no!" and hug Anne and explain to her that her brother is still a baby and doesn't know what he's doing. I remind her in a year or so he'll be big enough to have some self control and awareness of others thoughts and feelings. It's been a tiring month of hugging kids, wiping tears, separating kids, chastising. Almost all of the down time is spent in time increments of 5 minutes and 1 second going back and forth breaking up the fights.
Well, today I came face to face with the truth. Buddy is not, in fact, "still a baby and doesn't know what he's doing" but is in reality a smart guy who's had us all fooled. Today in Target as they rode together in the back of the cart, I broke up fights at lightening speed: approximately the rate of once every 27 seconds. Then I caught it. I caught Jamie before he pulled her hair. He saw me, looked me in the eye, smiled and moved slowly and deliberately and pulled Anne's hair! So I suppose that now tough mama needs to make an apparence. If Jamie is old enough to know that he can deliberately hurt and annoy his sister he's old enough to learn that sitting in time out 39x a day for one minute each is no way to live life.