Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Antagonizer

This is Caroline's new nickname around our house because, well, that is what she is. Since Bryce has been old enough to understand and say meaningful things, this has escalated at our house. Yes, the two of them often have interesting and cute little conversations, but quite often, these little conversations end in screaming.

You see, Caroline has learned to push Bryce's buttons and she's unfortunately, quite good at it. She can get him screaming about something in just a few seconds without having to lay a finger on him. She knows that calling him something other than his name will make him nuts. She knows that correcting the way he sings a song will make him mad. She knows that telling him he's not a big kid or a big boy will make him crazy. Finally, she knows she can make him scream by insisting she wants to do the same thing as he does.

It's quite frustrating as a parent to hear your 4 and 2 year old ARGUING over the most mundane details of life. Especially when the arguing will turn physical (um biting, anyone?) if it goes on long enough. I was awoken this morning by Caroline singing some song she made up where she called Bryce, "Bob" and it was making him YELL, "I AM BRYCE!!" over and over.

A lot of times we ignore it in the beginning because sometimes it settles down, but many other times we have to tell them both to shut their mouths. It honestly drives us bonkers. Of course, I remember how there never seemed to be anyone that could make me as angry over nothing as my brother or sister (and vice versa). I think it's just a fact of nature and clearly won't hurt their relationship down the line as long as it doesn't get truly demeaning/disrespectful as years go on - which we won't allow.

The other thing about the bickering is they often pick times where they cannot get away from each other to start - at the dinner table, in the car, etc. So it makes it more frustrating/aggravating for us.

Bryce hasn't seemed to figure out how to guarantee a reaction out of Caroline just yet, but he certainly has done it on occassion and it's just a matter of time because isn't that what little siblings are best at? So for now, he's probably just going to learn from Caroline and eventually beat her at her own game.

And I know in no time, I'll be dealing with this from three kids rather than just two. It's amazing how noisy our house is and how quickly a quiet dinner can turn into kid yelling. No wonder Jason and I rarely speak to one another at the dinner table anymore. And the thing about this low level "offense" is it's hard to discipline because it's not always something that they are aware they are doing.

So moms with a younger 2nd child who isn't yet talking, beware (and enjoy the "quiet"), I'm sure this is coming to you too. Not that I'd wish it on anyone, but it's pretty much guaranteed in multiple child houses.


toddler said...

D'oh. Making mental note to enjoy the quiet... ;)

Anonymous said...

That was Erin, sorry!

Viv said...

Tori isn't talking yet but we have yelling at dinner too. And the way our kitchen echos is amazing! No adult converations at this house either!