19 March 2007
St. Paddy's Day Brawl
My Blue is a bully. There's no other word for it. She's mean. She hits the Lion, she throws toys at him, she pushes him down. She takes toys away from him and hides them. Sigh. I know, I know, she's two. But she's also a thug.
We had Roxanna and Tim over for St. Patrick's Day dinner and we also invited our really, supernice neighbors over. They are like neighbors from some bygone era, really. They are always asking us over for dinner, sending over little containers or cake and brownies, sharing recipes with us... Who are these wonderful people?! To top it off, their last name is Davenport. I love it. Just hearing myself say, "The Davenports came to dinner Saturday" makes me feel like I'm starring on an episode of Ozzie and Harriet.
Anyway. The point is, the Davenports have three adorable little kids who of course look like they just walked out of a Norman Rockwell painting. And they are so polite and sweet and you can see where this is going, can't you? We (the grown-ups) were sitting around the table, eating bread pudding and playing the Newlywed Game, when we heard this horrible, hollow clunk followed by the sound of their little toddler, Sam, screaming his head off. Blue was nowhere to be found, and Sam had a gorgeous bruise in the center of his adorable forehead. Blue, (who I located hiding on the stairs with her face buried in her hands) we learned, had thrown her teapot at Sam. Lovely. I was mortified. Apparently, she has decided that terrorizing her baby brother isn't enough for her, so she is going to be the Neighborhood Bully.
The Davenports were very nice and understanding about everything (of course) but I was so embarrassed. And then they left shortly after that because poor little Sam was just so miserable.
The problem I am facing is, how do I discipline Blue after something like that happens? I mean, I don't want to look like one of those awful parents who just shrug it off--when my child has obviously been very naughty. On the other hand, I don't want to seem like some scary Mommy Dearest type either, because she is only two, and I could tell she didn't mean to hurt Sam and was actually pretty freaked out by the whole thing... So I scolded her very firmly and made her go over to poor little Sam and apologize. And I got a cold pack for his humongous goose-egg. And I apologized profusely. But once the Davenports left I asked Tim and Roxanna and Jonathan, Was that harsh enough? Should she have been put into time-out? I probably should have put her in time-out. But she looked so freaked out--and she had already pretty much put herself in time-out anyway on the stairs...
And then Roxanna, dear Roxanna, said: "Erin, I wouldn't worry about it. They have three kids; stuff like this must happen all the time."
On another note: the Lion has taken his first, very tentative steps--which I am thrilled about and relieved by since I was positive he would start walking while Jonathan and I were in London. He also bit my leg the other day. Hard. So I have a hideous bruise. Which makes me wonder if I will have a biter on my hands now in addition to the neighborhood bully.