Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Like Cats And Dogs

I don't know why I was in such a big fat hurry for Elsa to start crawling.  Because now that she can, she's getting all up in Rollie's business.  And Rollie is none too pleased with this.

I can't tell you how many times I've intervened before tragedy has struck.  Tragedy here would be Elsa barreling over Rollie's trainset like a pink, chubby Godzilla, and Rollie getting so pissed at her that he brandishes a caboose and brains her with it.  Many a time I've leapt across the room like a ballerina to stay Rollie's hand.  When Elsa looks up at me with a smile of delight, she has no idea the beating she has narrowly escaped.

Unfortunately I don't always make it in time.  I think it's because most of our house is carpeted, and when Elsa crawls away across carpeting, I can't hear her.  I don't here the cute little sound of doughy hands slapping across tile.  I'll be sitting at the counter or cleaning up the kitchen, and off she'll slip, stealthy as a panther, silently making her way in to Rollie's room, where he's been diligently assembling a Lego tower or floor puzzle and singing the Cars theme song.  And then I hear....

"No, Baby Els!"

This is followed by either a clattering as Rollie throws a toy that misses its target and crashes against his wall.  Or Elsa screaming, because Rollie's aim is usually pretty good.

And so I'll run into his room to find Elsa, all red-faced and hitchy-breathed, and Rollie about to throw something else at her...usually something bigger and capable of producing more damage, since the first attempt to send her fleeing didn't work.

"Rollie," I'll say (sharply...or shout....or scream....), "you may not hit baby Elsa."

"Momma, she's a monster."

"She's not a monster, Rollie.  She's your baby sister and you need to be nice to her."

"No, she's a monster."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because she's eating my toys."

Rollie will be on his feet by now, pointing to a drool-covered matchbox car or puzzle piece.  Then he'll look up at me, imploring me to not only believe him, but to also take his side.  To nod and say, you're right, Rollie, she is a monster, and perhaps wield my own weapon to bonk her with.  I can understand this.  All Rollie's doing is defending his territory the best way a two-year-old knows how.

And younger siblings can be pesky, regardless of their age.  I can certainly remember a time or two (or several hundred) when I wished my little brother would stay out of my room, stop messing with my stuff, stop drinking all my alcohol.  And on occasion I opted for physical retaliation (though I wouldn't try that brother is 25 and can probably bench-press twice his own weight.  Seriously.  This kid spends entire workout sessions to specific muscle groups.  I don't know about you, but the idea of working out just my lats for forty-five minutes makes me sore all over).
I've tried to get Rollie to talk out his difference with other people, or to come find me when he feels the need to say, bite someone on the face.  But, as you can imagine, he doesn't always exercise discretion when choosing his battles.  Sometimes, he probably reasons, people just deserve to get whacked in the head.

I would prefer he wait until Elsa's soft spots are closed before he starts hammering away at her.  And maybe by then, she'll be able to fight back.  Oh how I can't wait for that stage.

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