The two boys (I'm going to call them OB - old boy - and NB - new boy) have been getting used to each other this week and it's been interesting to watch.
NB is a very loving child. He loves to give cuddles and kisses and is ready with his smiles. His instinct is to love OB, and he laughs when he sees him in the morning, and often wants to give him cuddles. Unfortunately, OB doesn't necessarily understand what is going on, which means that NB's enthusiastic hug attempts often turn into pretty intense headlocks that of course end in tears.
There is a ten-month gap between them, so NB can understand a lot more than OB. This means that he endures a lot more 'No' and 'Gently' conversations than OB, because he can understand and learn. Unfortunately this means that I often feel as though I am nagging NB while OB is rather getting away with it. I can say 'No' and 'Gently' to OB until I'm blue in the face, but at his age he just doesn't understand. Still, we persevere!
Neither of the boys are mean or nasty boys. They don't throw their toys or destroy things, and neither of them particularly throw tantrums (although OB definitely has the beginnings of one if it's not nipped in the bud!), but they are both very young and not particularly in control of themselves or their bodies. OB will pat NB on the head in a gesture of love, but actually he's just bashing him pretty hard and laughing his head off.
Today, OB put his fingers in NB's mouth, so NB bit him. Hard. In fact I daresay if I had got to them much later he would have drawn blood because NB had pretty deep teeth marks on his finger. NB also poked OB straight in the eye - on purpose. And I've caught him trying a few things when he thinks I'm not looking. He knows it's naughty to push, so he waits until my back is turned and then gives a quick shove - he's not daft!
But don't worry. OB gets his turn. NB has endured a book to the side of the head, several head butts and 'fall-ons' and an awful lot of vigorous 'patting' to various parts of his body, but most often his face and head.
I think all of this is far more stressful for me than for the boys. I am in a state of near panic about how I could possibly explain an obvious eye-gouge injury to parents at contact time. They, however, after a bit of squealing, simply get on with their game. Whatever has gone on the previous day, they look out for each other every morning and giggle with delight when they are finally together. Cute stuff.