When Good Boys Go Bad

Picture this:

Our family of six is out for our nightly post-dinner, pre-bedtime walk.  I am pushing Brett in the single stroller, Brian is pushing Aaron and Brady in their side-by-side, and Alaina is riding next to us on her big girl bike. A&B spontaneously burst out into song. We’re not sure what words they are singing, but the melody sounds a bit like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Brian and I take a moment to smile at each other and share a “Yup. All of this is ours.” proud moment. And then…

Screaming! Terror! A chorus of Brady’s “NOOOOOOOOO”. Aaron’s silence (because his mouth is otherwise occupied, full of his brother’s arm.). In 1.1 seconds we’ve gone from a Norman Rockwell painting to an audition tape for “Nanny 911″.

Sadly, we have no idea why.

And then, back to singing.

And so it goes. 22-month old brothers who love each other one second and are trying to kill each other the very next. Over nothing. Brady enjoys hitting and hair pulling, Aaron prefers to bite. Neither have ever turned their aggression towards anyone except their other half. And as quickly as they turn it on, they are over it. Leaving their father and I to scratch our heads and stare dumbly at them – and each other – thinking “What the HELL was that?”

We know they love each other. They play, they cuddle, they bring each other their cups and conspire together. We listen to them on the monitor in their room at night talking in their little twin talk we don’t understand. We hear them waking up in the morning and whispering to each other and giggling before they shout out for “DaddEEEEE”. So what is going on? Why are they so hell bent on hurting each other for what seems like no other reason than sport?

Perhaps it is a function of spending too much time together? Perhaps they are just boys being boys? Who knows. But it is frustrating to say the least. And mind-boggling that after 15-seconds of all out WAR, before we can even react, they will go back to just dancing or singing or building a tower together.

Please tell me we’re not alone!

11 thoughts on “When Good Boys Go Bad

  1. man, i wish our boys would snap out of it as fast as yours do. i think you have it made! for us, it’s biting, hair pulling and pushing each other until there is some intervention. and then the consolation of the mortally wounded sometimes takes FOREVER!

  2. I am glad that I am not alone. I have that problem because we have a singleton who is 33 months and triplets who are 22 months and a 9 month old. They do the same thing. They are pals and then in the next moment someone hit someone else and WWIII has started. Before I can get to the person hurt and figure out what happened they are friends again. I have to really watch them sometimes to figure out who did what.

  3. You are definitely not alone on this one. I always say Nate and Alex are best friends and worst enemies, sometimes in a span of seconds! Even with them in group care, they single each other out for fights! We had a really bad biting streak for a month too.

    Then they go to bed and laugh hysterically and sing together.

  4. You are not alone and I don’t think it’s just boys. My daughters can be giddy, running in circles in our play room and then WHAM… someone will start pushing or hitting or whatever for no reason… .and then they’re back to giggling. I think it has to be pretty frustrating to have a sibling (or two or three) the exact same age as you. You have to share everything, including your time with mommy and daddy. In rare instances I think my daughters act up just for the attention. Most times I think they’re still figuring out how to express themselves. At the end of their arguments they hug each other, give kisses and help each other look for their blankies.

  5. I just left a comment in the last post saying this very thing. My girls (who will be two next week) fight all the time. Yes, they laugh and play together sometimes, but there is a lot of fighting and aggravation. It is good to know we aren’t alone. I’ve been feeling very down about it lately.

  6. Mine don’t seem to snap out of it as quickly, either. This morning, a screaming match erupted over some stacking plastic cups, and the whining continued almost 10 minutes after I separated them and negotiated several trades.

    Daniel prefers to hit. Rebecca, when pushed to her limit, is the biter.

    Charming. :-)

  7. We have added scratching faces to our list of battle wounds. Sometimes they snap out of it quickly, other times there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth!

    Be glad they haven’t turned on Brett, yet.

  8. While I can brag about my girls being generally well-behaved…they can certainly fight with the the best of ‘em. They are 2.5 and they will be playing nicely – making us smile that we have such a cute little family – and then it all goes to hell in a hand basket and is over quicker than we realized what happened. Unfortunately, Chloe has started to “cry wolf” so now I only intervene and redirect if I actually SEE the assault or if there is physical evidence (bite marks, etc…). I also have gotten to know the difference between a real “I’ve been seriously hurt scream” or an “I’m just pissed ’cause you took my toy scream.” There are SO many times where my Mom will be here and jump up and I’ll calmly say “relax, they’ll work it out by themselves.” Who ever knew I would be so laid back as a Mom????

    Regardless, they seem to go through phases. They won’t touch each other for weeks and then we will have a day when it feels like all I’m doing is being a referee! They NEVER exhibit this behavior with other kids and they also never do it in front on anyone except hubby and I. I think it’s normal for all siblings – especially multiples because they are so close and, in our case, with each other ALL the time. I think they probably get sick of each other the way I sometimes get sick of my husband – they just don’t have the coping skills to deal with their frustrations in more socially appropriate ways yet! Haven’t we all had times when we would really like to bite the heck out of our husband and try to totally kick his ass because we’ve just had enough??? LOL!

    I definitely think you are NOT in the minority with this. I’ve found it’s a phase. It was much worse when they were younger and less verbal. Now the physical violence is much more infrequent! Good luck :-)

  9. so. not. alone. we have moments when we hear blood curdling screaming and run to them and find one sitting on the other one’s head. or the new move, a flying head butt. not pretty and not fun. and then they resume their play or hysterical laughter.

    i think the combo of boys in close proximity that love each other breeds total smack down.

  10. You are not alone on this one. Sam & Joel (almost three) started the all out war at about 2yrs one minute the best friends the next worst enemies, well sometimes a span of seconds ;) !
    I think it is sibling thing but multiplied :) They sure know how to press each others buttons and the mum panic button when it gets ugly.

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