Sibling Rivalry


When I was a kid I thought it was fairly amazing that I survived my two older siblings and their antics.

Now that I am a mom I realize that I was luckier that my parents didn’t strangle us all them selves. At least I can understand my mother’s conviction that it was the arrival of her second child that made her first start drinking sherry. By child number three it’s obvious that nothing short of a bottle a night would suffice to help her maintain her sanity.

My two didn’t ever used to fight. They really love each other. My kids are different. That is what I thought up until recently. My daughter is six years older than my son and I thought I must have done something right because they never seemed to fight. Then one day my boy hit three and a half and I realised that they had just been bottling it all up so that they could catch me off guard and hit me with it all once.

I don’t know how hospitals are not filled with more children whose parents have hit their heads together.

I have not yet resorted to drinking or violence. In fact I am a kind hearted, warm and forward thinking individual. But man! If anything can test your sanity its having siblings in the house.

I was shocked at myself this morning, while driving to collect the nanny with the kids in the car, when I had a momentary vision of duct taping both their mouths shut with their hands tied. It sounds amazingly awful, shocking and immoral to ever have such a vision. What’s worse is that it made me smile. True it makes me sound like a case for the authorities, but I didn’t actually do it! I didn’t consider it. But as shocked as the me of 6 years ago would be about it, it did amuse me, momentarily.

I wonder how many other really good, loving devoted mothers have wished for a moment that they could just make like Mc Guiver and duct tape the kids away from each other. I bet I am not the only one!

In times like those I have to remind myself of Derek Jackson’s golden rule to the parenting of siblings: If there is no blood, don’t get involved.

 So to all the other parents of siblings, i am with you!





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