For over a year Cate ruled the roost - she would slap X, knock him over, make him cry, etc. He was too small to retaliate so she spent a great deal of time in time out (where she would pout and say, 'I not sorry'. Fab). Then it leveled off - she left him alone, things were fine. And we moved.
Maybe it's because of the stress of moving, perhaps it's because I put them in the same room and they share a bed time now. It could be that I've been really grief stricken over the death of my sister and have been a bit lax with time outs and playdates. Maybe it's combo of everything. But whatever it is - I'm approaching the end of my tether.
Cate still likes to grab X and knock him over, but he's rapidly approaching two and is a sturdy, tough little fella (like he had a choice!). He's done with being abused and now fights back. His weapon of choice: hair pulling and pinching. Those tiny chubby hands can certainly cause trouble! Often he'll just run up to Cate and pull her hair.
Once, when she grabbed his blanket, he turned beet red and went on the attach: with a bloody war cry (he gets that from his Samoan blood, I'm guessing) he charged Cate from behind, grabbing two fist fulls of her shirt, swirled her around, body slammed her and then yanked her pigtails with all his 24lbs of might. He meant business. I think Cate was more shocked than hurt but she now thinks twice about grabbing things out of his hand.
I am seriously running out of patience with this. I cannot turn my back for a second without one of them causing the other to cry, or tattle, or attack. It's driving me insane. I don't know how my mother did it - she had four of us - at one point she had three children under the age of 4. Granted she had full time help and was a lot less lenient than I apparently am (and boy she does she let me know about it).
As a child I recall Mom yelling at us to cut it out. I always thought, 'What's her problem?' I now get it. Her most effective line of control, 'I don't want to hear another word from any of you or I'm getting the belt.' That was enough to scare the bejesus out of us. We have a long hallway in our house and when we did push it too far my mother would come down that long, echo-y hallway (the ceiling is 22 feet high which just added to the terror) slapping one of my dad's belts on the wall. She never had to use the belt because the anticipation was punishment enough - by the time she showed up in the doorway we were all silent, sorry, and willing to make up.
My kids are too young for this tactic and I think the neighbours would wonder what the racket is going on in here if I did. Instead, I've watched multiple Super Nanny episodes, bought her book and I'm trying everything.
Would love suggestions on how to help my children get along and play together. In all my dreams of being a mother, never did this scenario pop up. Neither did the sleepless nights (Cate is still jet lagged and comes into our room nightly to wake me up). Either way - if you have any ideas, solutions, suggestions, hints or comments: just bring it! I'm open for anything (that includes wine - you can bring that too!)