Today we are going to my niece's 4th birthday party. The kids are excited about it and I suspect that for the most part, my niece is excited to see them. I say "for the most part" because although Megan is a gem with her, Jack on the other hand has taken to somewhat torturing her at times. Jack is a...well, he's a boy. He likes boy stuff and that includes creatures, monsters, dragons, aliens, snakes and anything else that falls into the scary and creepy categories. My niece is a...well, she's a girl. She likes girl stuff and that includes ponies, barbies, dress up and anything else that falls in the absolutely NOT scary and creepy categories. Jack has figured out how to "freak her out" and I fear he revels in pushing her buttons a little too much sometimes. But according to Jack, he's "just trying to teach her some lessons." Teaching his cousin "lessons" can be anything from making scary noises to holding scary toys up to her face to freak her out. Or like the last time we were all together, Jack kept turning the lights off in the basement. There were a couple of angst ridden moments on that one and so on our car ride home, it was a topic of discussion.
Me: Jack, why did you keep turning the lights off on her?
Jack: I dunno.
Me: Were you doing it to try to scare her?
Jack: Um, she's afraid of the dark. She shouldn't be afraid of the dark.
Me (sarcastically): So were you turning the lights off on her to try to teach her not to be afraid of the dark?
Jack: Uh, no. I just turn off the lights when we are going upstairs and she is at the bottom of the steps.
Megan (always the voice of reason): Anything he just said- I don't believe any of it. Trust me, I've been there and I've seen it.
Jack (trying to justify his actions): Well, she follows me everywhere.
Megan (again, the voice of reason): Well then go somewhere else.
Jack (trying to change the subject): Actually, she only follows Megan, not me!
Me: Well, do you think she follows Megan around because Megan is nice to her and you do mean things like turning off the light on her?
Jack (after a moment of contemplation): I dunno.