About 512 times a day, my oldest daughter tells me of some horrible offense her younger sister has committed against her. Normally, it's something like "Mom, Reese won't let me sit here!" or "Mom, Reese took my drink!" But every once in a while, it's something I have to actually respond to, like biting, hitting, ruining her school work, etc.
I think I've mentioned before that Reese is a tough one to punish. She's so dang cute, plus she's really always been such a sweet child, it's just hard to imagine her intentionally inflicting harm on another person. But, she recently turned two and has officially begun acting like it. Sweet Reesie is still in there, but at any moment, she can turn into Two Year Old Reese and she is sweet no more. But it's still hard to punish her. And here's why. She hides. Not running to hide behind the couch. That would actually annoy me. No, it's better than that. As soon as Avery begins the sing-song "Mo-ooom," Reese covers her eyes. She honestly thinks I can't see her if she covers her eyes. Last night's "Moo-oom, Reese won't let me have a turn!" resulted in this picture:
Ok, so it's so ridiculous, it's cute, right? I mean, you walk in a room, ready to dictate a time-out or a swat, and this is what you see. It's hard not to laugh. Or take a picture. I do think stopping to take a photo would possibly take away from the stern-ness of my disciplinary action, so I waited to photograph her on a minor infraction. I am not going to referee every time they don't share, take turns, etc. I'll just use it as a photo-op. But when she bit her sister yesterday, I can assure you, I did not take any pictures.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. How do you not laugh at this? Even when it's something serious like biting or hitting, this is just funny to me. I think it's funny that, if her eyes are covered, she thinks she's invisible. And I think it's funny that she knows she did something wrong and totally gives herself away like this instead of being smooth enough to act nonchalant, as if she has no idea why her sister is screaming like an idiot. I just love the innocence of kids. It makes me smile, even when I shouldn't.
Ok, so since I took a picture and basically made a joke of the whole thing, I felt bad. I felt guilty because I looked at Avery's little sad face and she was looking at me as if she were thinking "How come when I do something bad, I get in trouble, but when Reese does something bad, she gets her picture taken?" So, I broke my rule of not refereeing dumb little spats and told Reese "No, no. You need to share with Avery or I'm going to put the game away."
And this is what I get:
This hurts my heart. She looks so sad. And all I did was tell her I might take the game away. Imagine what she does when I swat her little bottom (through a diaper so it doesn't even hurt) or make her sit in time out. It's too hard. I don't want to be the bad guy anymore. So, if anyone is interested in cruelty to small children with big, sad eyes, let me know. Frankly, I could use the help.