Monday, 9 April 2007

Sibling Rivalry

I thought when I had dumpling that the seven year age gap would mean they wouldn't squabble, got that one wrong, they were great for the first 3-4 years but now I cant bear them in the same room, I have a tv in my room with over 50 children's videos just so that i can separate us us all at times, the niggling between them is unbearable especially in the holidays, we don't go back to to school till a week today (sigh)

I also have the bonus of having a younger sister by 17 years who is only 18 months older than Lolly! They go to the same school and we even live in the same road, so Lollys best friend is actually her aunt! But they too squabble and bicker. Part of says its natural, has always happened and is a necessary part of growing up and they practice communication skills on each other, I find myself intervening and trying to explain that its OK to go to the other with a valid point and try and start a dialogue that ends with both parties happy, not to go in all guns blazing and blaming, screaming and accusing and not wanting to change things but just to let the world know how slighted they are by the other! But most of the time I dont want to hear it, I find myself shouting, "Just stop it!" I dont care what they are fighting about, I just dont want to have a peaceful afternoon in the garden spoilt by whining and yelling. The one-up-man-ship arounds here reaches incredible heights, lolly and dumpling will fight over who rings the doorbell when they return from grandmas, lolly doesnt really care about doorbells, she's a teenager but if she thinks dumpling will get more than her then scraps break out in the driveway!

Chores also mean high blood pressure for me, I will happily do the cleaning washing etc but I'm not going to spend everyday picking up the general chaos lazy children leave around, I like to think I'm very fair in that I will wait till the end of a favourite programme or the adverts and happily chirp "lets see how much we can get done before the end of the commercials!" what then happens is each child will shuffle around watching the other out of the corner of their eye so that they dont do an iota more than the other "If you put as much effort into tidying as you do trying to get out of it, this house would be immaculate!" I tend to scream before locking myself in the bathroom!

I havnt seen the whole film but theres a scene in 'The Breakup' with Jennifer Aniston and whats-his-name? She says to him, "I want you to want to do the dishes" and he replies "Why would I want to want to do the dishes?" I laughed so hard when I saw this in the trailer, thats my children all over. I want them to want to do their chores, I want them to feel a sense of satisfaction afterwards, I want them to not want to fight with each other, I want them to recognise they are two completely different people with different needs and that squabbling over minor unimportant things is wasting their lives!

Most of the things that annoy lolly about dumpling are things he learned from her, sing song voices to wind him up etc, I tried to explain to her that she wouldnt make him stop being annoying to her by repeating his behaviour back at him, it only reinforces it, I told her you couldnt fight fire with fire and you dont stop a dog barking by barking at it, it was at this point that dumpling went and cried on his bed as "Its not fair! Why is lolly getting a dog?"


Terroni said...

I agree! It's not fair for you to buy one child a dog without at least getting the other a rabbit. :>

On the subject of chores, I'll never forget how amazed I was at the mess I could make when I moved out. At some point I looked around and thought, "Who lives here?"
I quickly realized that the real question was "Who doesn't live here?"
The answer: "My mother."

Bahrageous said...

Ha. I thought mine being 8 years apart would be easier, too. And it was...for about 18 months. Now I want to punch myself in the head.


Maria said...

Sibling rivalry. Something Liv will never experience and probably for the best.

I used to torment my little sister Jessie by mouthing words at her and pretending I was saying them out loud. It would scare her to death because she feared she was deaf. I was merciless.

I was such a brat!


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