Daily, this scenario occurs:
I will be doing something out of sight of the kids. Then, I hear a baby screaming, followed by Adrian desperately saying, “Shhh! Shhh!! It’s ok, baby! Shhh! Shh! You’re ok! Shh! Shhhhhhh, baby!”
When I run over, comfort the baby, and ask what happened, Adrian grins and says, “He’s ok! See?”
“But what happened, Adrian? Did you hurt him?”
“I don’t know. He’s ok!”
“DID YOU HURT YOUR BROTHER??”
This is answered by either
a) another (shrieked) “I don’t know” accompanied by foot stomping and arm flailing
b) he just falls down on the floor, covers his face, and cries.
Sometimes I put him in time out, assuming his guilt. Other times, I have offered to not put him in time out if he could just tell me what happened. None of this seems to help, and there is always a lot of screaming and fit-throwing.
I usually find physical evidence on the baby in question: a mark or bump on his head or face. Of course, I never know if this was thanks to 1 of his 3 brothers, a self-inflicted wound, or just the fact that he’s a redhead and if he sneezes it looks like he got punched.
I have definitely seen Adrian take pot shots; as in, Adrian punches Will in the stomach as he’s toddling by or bangs Reid in the head with whatever toy he’s currently holding. When I yell at him in these instances, Adrian looks at me innocently and says, “What? I playing with him!” And gives the baby a hug/throttle around the neck.
Thankfully, these violent episodes are becoming more infrequent. And the babies are getting less baby-like and more toddler-like and therefore less defenseless. And there are two of them. So I’ll keep handling it for now, but the day is coming soon when Adrian will likely be tackled by 2 toddlers who then sit on his face and punch him in the stomach. And I may not be terribly sympathetic on that day…