Now, 21 months into our two-kid household, I have no doubt that our 5 year old and almost 2 year old love each other. The problem comes when they love each other too much.
You see, often times aggressive hugs can leave them both in pain.
It starts innocent enough, as they move into embrace. But often neither of them will let go as the hug gets tighter and more intense. Inevitably, they keep the embrace and end up both falling on the floor together. It looks like a couple of redwoods falling in the forest.
As long as the fall is a clean one it's usually no big deal.
But sometimes one of them will land on a toy or the side of a table and the love fest turns into an ouch fest real quickly. See, love does hurt sometimes.
We've been telling our daughter, the big sister in the arrangement, to be nice to her little brother. That's because with his tank-like stature he will soon grow bigger than her. It might be best to stay on his good side.
He is already squeezed her so hard he's nearly choking her when they hug. So when we hear her say "I can't breathe" then it's time for a parent to move in. The young dude is pretty strong already just try to change his diaper when he doesn't want to be changed and you'll see how strong.
When hugging is not dangerous is can be one of the cutest things to see as they show their love for each other.
Our 21-month-old doesn't need his sister to hurt himself; he has a knack for doing this on his own too. About 10 times a day he is running to us for a kiss saying "ouchy" as his head may have tapped into a table or a toy whacked him as he was playing. That too can be cute, especially when it's just a minor thing.
I know we've only reached low tide on the flood of sibling rivalry that is no doubt heading to a high water point in their teenage years. So I guess we'll enjoy it now before they are actually able to hurt each other on purpose.
That's when the parent police really need to be on alert.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org