Every day is a new experience, despite the usual suspects of routine. I have three kids. Sometimes they get along, other times I have to be a referee stopping some one from biting another’s ear off . . . or standing in another room until it’s already happened. My kids are pretty typical in their sibling rivalry: “You called me a name, he wrote on my wall, she hit me, you screamed in my ear, so ‘n’ so farted, she messed up my bed, he smells!” And my ultimate favorite conclusion to all my kids’ wheelings and dealings: “MOOOOOOOM!” I can usually handle the basics of childhood complaints, but as my kids have gotten older (without my consent) they have become more physical and more clever in their insults to each other. This isn’t two-year-old physical stuff either. Tasting your sister’s hair is not equivelent to “I’m going to punch you in exactly one hour!” Yes, they are precise. And puctual.
My oldest is starting his teenage fret with lots of attitude and lots of sighs. He sighs more than Charlie Brown. But picture Charlie Brown as a teenager and with an interest in sex but still thinks it’s gross. My daughter (the middle one) is “older” than her two brothers, but not always wiser. She wants to be Gwen Stefani and marry Bruce Willis. And she acts like she can. She doesn’t know that Bruce will be older than dirt by the time she feels the need to get married. My youngest is still searching for his eight-year-old identity. He likes Legos, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. To him, girls are gross but invited several of his grossest friends to his birthday party. He generally feels picked on and is a part of most of the sibling rivalry that goes on in our house. Conclusion: Every one wants his or her own way and will kill he or she to get it. (A.k.a. I’ll literally kick you down and sweet talk the parents into thinking it’s all your fault.) This is the life of a parent with in-between kids.
Today, my husband came home from work expecting to eat fried chicken. Instead, he saw a look on my face that expressed “escape” almost to the point of tears. We walk away to have a quick chat, and no foolin’, within thirty seconds my youngest is crying and my daughter is pounding her own fist into her hand. Sobbing breaks out, we have no idea what just happened, and can’t get a straight answer from any body, or a car loan. My oldest sits by steadily not saying a word taking skin (the best part) off of his chicken. Time to separate, get frustrated, and have a glass of wine; preferably two. Enter joke here: “How was your day at work hon’?”
I have three very diiferent people living in my house spawned by two people they are exactly alike only accentuated and slightly more annoying and needy. Although, I did whine a lot about a vacation I had to have or I was going to die. In any case, like marriages (people you are supposed to know and love forever) it can’t always be perfect. General things have to be fair, everyone has to have the same amount of attention and the same amount of presents at the exact same time, other wise all you will hear is “How come he gets that? How come she got a big gift? Why didn’t you take me? How come it’s his birthday?”
Parents, it’s not you. Kids are greedy little people who we love. Siblings may not always like each other. Deep down it’s obvious they love one another (a held hand down the stairs, a push of a swing, a favorite toy given, help with a Lego set, and once in a while, an actual “I love you.”) but they don’t always want you to know. It’s their weapon. At their bed time they’re actually conspiring against us instead of brushing their teeth. How else do you think they get their own T.V.?