As I've mentioned before, Charlotte is the more physically aggressive of the twins. When frustrated, she hits, bites, scratches, pushes and squeezes. For a while, Gavin didn't reciprocate. Michael and I would watch these scenes unfold, and actually hope for Gavin to react. Imagine this scenario, if you will: Gavin is riding around the kitchen on the Disney ride-on toy. Charlotte decides that the Disney ride-on toy is HERS, and she needs to have it NOW! (In fact, everything in the ENTIRE HOUSE belongs to Charlotte, and if you dare to be playing with the toy when she decides she wants it, watch out!) Charlotte declares, "MINES!," but Gavin continues to scoot around the kitchen, unaware that Charlotte is growing more agitated by the minute. Charlotte marches over to Gavin, and grabs his face with all her might. And those sharp little nails hurt. Trust me. I've been on the receiving end of one of her face-grabs. These little scenarios happen several times a day. Usually, if we see it happening, we'll try our best to deflect her attention so it doesn't escalate into some sort of physical retaliation. But if we miss the signs that Charlotte is on the offensive, and she attacks Gavin in some way, we find ourselves almost hoping that Gavin will smack her back. (Is that wrong? Or mean? I contend that it will teach her a lesson.) In most cases, Gavin just yells.
Yesterday she was particularly possessive, and brutal. She drew blood on Gavin's left cheek in the morning, and left him with a matching boo-boo on his right cheek and nose right before bed. This morning, she delivered a swollen sctratch near his ear and a few on his neck.
So what do I do? I put her in timeout, and she does sit there for a minute or so, but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. I also make sure I am clear and firm with her (No Charlotte! We don't hit! Hitting hurts!) and then I lavish all sorts of attention on Gavin and ignore Charlotte. But none of it seems to be working.
I don't think she ever hit anyone at daycare. There was a questionable comment on her report card that said " We would like Charlotte to use her words when in a confrontation about a toy." But it made no mention of hitting or biting. Perhaps her teachers were avoiding the issue, or else they are just so accustomed to hitting and biting in the Toddler Room that it didn't seem worth mentioning.
Is this the terrible twos, a little early? If so, we're in for a very bloody year.