"Ally, get off me!"
"Mooooom, she hit me!"
Ally, sniffling: "Awwwi hit me."
"Stop! Awwwiiiiii! Me say NO!"
Now I know why my parents blew their collective stack in the car with all three of us sniping at each other in the back seat. I am at a total loss of how to deal. So far, this is how I have handled it (in chronological order):
A child under each arm, "Ally, look at Ari's face after you hit him. How does he look? Sad? Ari, how do you feel? When we hit, we hurt, Ally." ...just waiting for her to say Good in response but instead she usually says, "I shaawwy Awwwii, I shaawwy" quickly followed by a too-hard squeeze of some appendage.
I tried the above much-celebrated gem in touchy-feely mom circles about once before abandoning it with my headstrong daughter. I then moved on to:
"Work it out." A gem of my mother's.
When that resulted in absolutely no change in the decibel level, I moved on to:
"Ari, just MOVE away from her. You don't have to be a victim here. Get OFF THE FLOOR!" (My parents will laugh at this one.) Ari's response to this? "I WANT to be here!"
Several variations of the below followed:
"Ally, stop licking your brother."
"Keep your body to yourself."
"Kind words, please!" (This, it seems, to the neighbor children as well.)
"Ari, honey, find your power and say NO. Where's your power? There! Yes! Now say NO! Awesome!" Quickly followed by, "Moooom, she hit me!" as I walked away.
Me: What happened?
Ari: It wasn't me.
"She did, huh? Well, you worry about yourself, I'll worry about Ally." Ari, in response, "But I'm being good!"
So, it probably seems to you that we're raising a tattling pansy (the boy) and an abusive bully (the girl). Great. That's what it seems on my end too. Of course, this is on their bad days, which inherently turn into my bad days. Today has been a constant bad day since 6:30 this morning. Sometimes we have golden good days when I can't believe how blessed I am and how wonderful and loving my children are.
But just to drive my point home, this is not one of those days.