For the first and unfortunately, indubitably not the last time, we had to separate our boys who were embroiled in a beastly brawl. Our toddler had been increasingly exasperated with his infant brother whose idea of engaging his big brother in play continues to be dismantling his train track, destroying his lego structures, crashing his block towers, ripping up his books and wresting his toys away from his hands, all with a gargantuan grin of naiveté that unfortunately does not appeal to his frustrated fratello. L tells M clearly "no, M, no!" and tries to hold onto his toys, take away his books and instructs his brother of the errors of his actions. He informs him that we are meant to read books and not rip them up and then he looks to me for assurance and confirmation. I try to acknowledge his frustration and affirm that M behaved in an unacceptable fashion, for I don't want L to go around and wrest toys away from other kids and concomitantly attempt to explain why M is not at fault for his actions for he does not have the capacity yet to act otherwise.
Unfortunately, L continues to be frustrated that the same rules dot not apply to his brother and has sometimes attempted to mimic his brother so that he would get the same attention. If M cries and receives attention, should he not he? I explain that M is a baby, that he doesn't know better, to which L retorts that nor does he. The attention M gets is unfortunately hard for L to accept. The other day he wailed and asked me why I had to be M's mother too. It's a challenge to navigate.
Yesterday, the train track destruction had percolated to a scene worthy of inclusion in a Planet Earth episode. L roared aggressively in M's face after M had successfully wrested away a carriage. M digested this attack for a second and then lunged at his elder brother. L responded in kind and we in turn had to lunge to intervene, separate and impose discipline. It's a long road ahead...
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