Today I had my son's nemesis over to play. I know this sounds crazy, but I couldn't believe a three year old really was a bully. I figured it was one of three things A) abusive parents B) PTSD or C) just extreme frustration with communication issues. Happily the first two were quickly ruled out and the third seems the likely issue. Having him over was a great way to watch the kids playing together closely, eyeball the parents and see if I could help them communicate. The parents turned out to be incredibly lovely people. My son was really skittish at first, even hid in a block fort for about ten minutes playing with his guest's dad, but when it was clear that his classmate wasn't going to initiate any "hurting" games, he relaxed. At one point he grabbed his foam sword and said he had to fight the monster, but I convinced him that maybe it was a nice monster that just needed hugs. They played for more than two hours and the day ended with laughter and hugs. There was no hitting, biting or kicking at all. I'm hoping this behavior bleeds over to nursery school that they will be able to better communicate and play together. At any rate, it's a big step in the right direction and time will tell. I admit to being a Pollyanna, but I really think the boys could become good friends. They're both sweet kids with a bit of a tough side.