I am very happy with the new Sims expansion. The only time I really have to play it is in the evenings when Vance gets home. It’s a toss up whether or not I’m going to be able to convince him to let me use my own damn computer for that purpose. He’s got that whole, “I’ve been working my ass for the last 8 hours at a job I hate, I deserve my video games…” thing going for him. I never feel like I’ve got much to counter that, except that I spend my days wrangling a fussy baby and a very rebellious and demanding toddler who has come up with new and infuriating ways of getting my attention…
LIKE BITING HIS BABY BROTHER.
Hitting him and dropping things on his head are also effective.
I don’t know what has gotten into him. This new aggressive streak started a few days ago when he was sitting next to his brother, and he just smacked him on the head. The baby just kind of jolted, and look shocked, but didn’t cry, so I scolded Deven and put him in time-out. Yesterday, he was sitting next to his brother and putting his face up to him, which is what he usually does, when the baby started screaming in pain. I immediately pulled Deven away from his brother, and upon inspection I found teeth marks on his hands. My reaction was more of terror than anger, I think, though it did turn into anger. After I comforted the baby, I rather loudly scolded Deven and put him in time-out. I decided to take the “nurture” approach, and I took the baby to time-out and explained to Deven that the baby is little, and can’t defend himself, and that biting hurts him a lot. I made Deven apologize to his brother and give him a kiss.
Man, that would have been awesome if it worked.
Today, he bit his brother AGAIN, and then he dropped a relatively heavy toy on his brother’s head for no apparent reason. I was sitting at my desk, and I handed him Buzz Lightyear to put somewhere else, and he decided his sleeping brother’s head was an appropriate place. I just LOVE (but not at all) that getting him to sit in time out is a twenty-minute struggle when it comes to things, like, not listening to his parents, but when he deliberately HURTS his baby brother, he goes straight to time-out and sits there. He knows he is being bad, he just loves pushing limits or getting attention, or just being an asshole. I can’t read his mind.
Now, I’ve asked people (internet people) what they would do in this situation, and the most popular response is “bite him back, see how he likes it!” WHICH I AM SO NOT BEYOND DOING. This kid has been pushing us so hard, we almost WANT to bite him for hell of it. But the “experts” all say that biting him won’t work and is only teaching him that biting is okay. However, a lot of the parents I heard from said that they took the “show them how it feels” approach after trying everything else, and it was often the only thing that worked. I can see both sides, that it’s only stooping to their level, and that they need to know how bad it hurts, and after trying all sorts of methods of discipline, I tend to side with the parents over the “experts” on any given issue. These “experts” may or may not have children of their own, and every kid and every family is different. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to any facet of parenting, including discipline. So don’t judge other parents.
For now, I am doing my best to watch my kid LIKE A HAWK when it comes to his brother. They are NEVER alone together, which makes little things, like going to the bathroom a struggle, but it’s for the best. I am having such a hard time not drawing a line between Deven and Archer, and making the older child feel like a pariah. It’s so not what I wanted. Archer is so small and defenseless, and it triggers some kind of badger-like reflex in me when I feel like he is threatened, even by my other child. The truth is, the biting is not really hurting him. Yes, it hurts, but it’s not leaving any kind of lasting damage to his body or psyche. I mean, he cries the same way when I suction his nose, and he will cry even harder and longer when he gets his first round of shots. He will be fine though. I shouldn’t completely lose my cool when Deven bites. I should focus more on what is causing Deven to bite in the first place.
Life with Deven is so complicated right now. I wish I knew what we could do for him. I just feel like as parents we are failing left and right, and this is the proof.