Each Week Its Like Brand New, Crazy Children

In this week's episode of raising two beautiful and normally very sweet little boys about two years apart in age with one nearing 3 and the other nearing 1. Each week there's something different from the last, each week there is an evolution of behaviour. A stepping up of both their respective games. In Sully's case we already have a pretty good idea of what his next stages are looking like because we've been through them already with Grady.

But Mr. Grady, he is a bit of an enigma with behaviours coming on that contradict his normally sweet nature. I mean, this is a big brother who offers his little brother a kiss goodnight most nights. He is a little boy that delights in making people laugh and he loves to laugh at himself being silly.

Earlier tonight we were playing Superman where one touch and I'd fall over. I was holding Sully and he was laughing and it was really funny. Grady would bap me with a pillow and Sully and I would roll over backwards. And Graydon would turn to face his mom on the bed and bust up laughing.

But, and there is always a but if its a blog post, isn't there? But he will also be a kind of mean little kid from time to time. Usually when it involves a toy he doesn't want someone else to have, note that it isn't a toy he's playing with, he just doesn't want the other kid to have it. But sometimes he'll just lash out for seemingly no reason. Or for a pretty bogus reason.

Take, for example, his latest two incidents. Both against his little brother unfortunately. Yesterday morning, the two boys were playing in the office with me. They had a bunch of hot wheels out and a couple of toy motorcycles. When Sully grabbed one of the two toy bikes, Grady leaned over and bit him on the back of his thigh. Hard. Hard enough to leave teethmarks and Sully has a bruise now.

And we had a long talk about it, Graydon got to see and listen to Sully crying because he hurt him. I showed him the mark he made, he appeared to feel bad and probably did. And we talked about using his words instead of biting.

Fast forward past a 4 year old's birthday party (with a bounce house filled with balls) and a trip to a kid's event at the park down the street to tonight. When both boys were playing in their room, my wife and with them. We'd opened up one of the crawl-thru tubes and they were having fun playing with it. And Grady bit him again. This time for no reason at all. Very hard, on the foot.

Of course, it is very easy to overreact when one child is screaming bloody murder and a quick check of his foot confirms his every right to scream. It looked like it hurt and both my wife and I were upset by this second biting in such a short time. Granted, Grady was exhausted tonight but that's not any excuse.

We're trying to deal with the biting in as positive a way as possible. Trying to concentrate on Sully instead of Grady to not give him the attention. Not yelling but talking to sternly and using short sentences. It is very distressing though.

By the way, yes, we are aware that biting is a normal phase of toddler development, we'd just like to move through the phase as quickly as possible and with as few bruises on the baby as possible. Also, Sully will occasionally try and take a bite out of his parents too. We're living with pint-sized cannibals!

If any parents have any insight, advice or just plain ol' encouragement, I'd love to hear it. That and I'd love to get 15 hours of uninterrupted sleep.