Last night, as we were working in the office, Andy came in and wanted something. Joey was right behind him, and before Andy could say a word, Joey hit him in the back as hard as he could and took off for the other room.
Clearly, Joey had sinned against his brother and I started after him immediately. Andy was fine and left the room for us to deal with the transgressor. As is his fashion, Joey was madder than an irritated hornet so it took a moment to calm him down and find out why he hit Andy. It was for nothing more than the fact that Andy wouldn’t play with him. Not sufficient. The only grounds in our household for hitting someone is in self defense, and then not from behind.
After admonitions and the subsequent backside discipline, I told Joey he needed to go apologize and ask Andy to forgive him. With big tears running down his face, he headed off to the kitchen to make things right. Or so I thought.
Joey wouldn’t apologize.
“Joey, you need to tell Andy that you are sorry for hitting him, and ask for his forgiveness.” Those were my instructions.
“I can’t say it,” he said over and over. I told him what to say one more time.
“I can’t make myself say it.” At this point, I’m beginning to laugh. I had him up in my lap as he cried and buried his face into my shirt.
He wasn’t the least bit sorry. He admitted that he wanted to hit him and he was mad. I loved his honesty. He wasn’t trying to hide his feelings at all toward his brother. He was mad because he wouldn’t play with him and he wanted to strike back.
I love the fact that Joey was honest, and told him so. It’s better to be honest about something than it is to lie about it. We told him that he still needed to apologize and ask forgiveness. After a bit more backside discipline, he finally agreed.
He walked into the kitchen where Andy was patiently waiting for Joey to apologize. Andy’s attitude was great. He wanted to forgive Joey and show his love for him.
Joey mumble the apology. Andy forgave him immediately, gave him a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek. We were so proud of Andy.
However, Joey was still in a stink. He turned, walked over to the laundry basket, grabbed a towel and made sure he got that kiss off his face. We all just laughed. He was still mad at his brother and was making sure to wipe that kiss away. He probably would have hit Andy again if he thought he could get away with it.
After a nights rest, his anger has subsided. He spent the first five minutes of the day telling us that Andy was not in school, but up in bed, under the covers. Yes, he was mad. But he really does love his older brother and spends a good portion of the day thinking about the moment we get to go get Andy from school. It’s out of the love that probably caused him to be so angry. He waits at home all day for his big brother, and when Andy won’t play with him, sheer disappointment. But the hitting has to stop. That is not the correct reaction to disappointment. Given his temper is what it is, I imagine we haven’t see the last of this sort of thing.