but will she end up working in the Dead Letter office?

Yesterday, in an act of missed synchronicity, I read this blog post by Andi Buchanan at Mother Shock almost 12 hours after I actually needed to. I guess there’s something going around in the houses of school-aged children–something that causes said children to act like the victims of demonic possession a la The Exorcist. I’m not sure if it’s post-Christmas let-down, the boredom of being off from school, and not having friends to fight with, or what. But that thing–whatever it is–can just take its ass out of my house, ‘nawhatImean?

The Bee has always had issues with her little brother. She was an only child for four years, and she got pretty used to it. By the time the Potato came along, she was extremely set in her ways, and the idea that she might have to share her parents with another person has always struck her as wrong.

But this week, we’ve been treated to such sayings as, “I can’t wait until I can move out of this house, so I don’t have to live with you people any more!” (you people being later clarified to mean her brother). Also, “if he touches my stuff again, I’m going to punch him in the eye!”

It’s draining, to have to constantly be mediating between them. On the other hand, I have vivid memories of chasing my own brother around the house with a baseball bat, at some point when my parents weren’t home and I was ‘in charge,’ so I guess I should count my blessings that she hasn’t thought that one up yet.

There was a point, when I was sunk in the naive state of preparing to have my second child, that I thought, “well, they’ll always have each other.” Little did I realize that the Bee, like Bartleby the Scrivener, would simply “prefer not to.”


December 29, 2005. thoughtful parenting.


  1. Happy New Year! « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] Thanks everyone for your many comments about the sibling rivalry situation. LD and I were very comforted to read that so many other people are going through the same thing. I told LD that the thing I like most about the parenting blogosphere is the support that one finds there. It’s not the advice (although that’s good too), it’s the knowledge that our experience is universal that helps make it more bearable somehow. […]

  2. elise replied:

    I think my kids came up with a grumpy schedule amongst themselves and take turns rotating through bad moods. Currently Thomas is grumpy but I started the day with tears and sobbing from Erin. Probably end the day with Sarah mad about something! They definitely have their fights and problems but a neighbor I know told me that when her kids were little, she made sure that they were not mean to each other and as they got older they turned out to be great friends. I took this as advice and they get in a lot of trouble for being mean. I’ve taken the approach that some things and feelings are best left unsaid. I tell them that they can feel anything they like but can not hurt another person’s feelings by telling them (this includes me because I realized I just couldn’t take hearing “I hate you”). So far so good but we’ll see how it works in the long run.

  3. Anne replied:

    I have three and it’s the younger ones (ages five and two) who make me insane with their fighting. This vacation has been almost unbearable with all the yelling and squabbling. I don’t think I fought with my sisters so much. Fortunately, my eldest, age nine, acts as a calming factor.

  4. The Complimenting Commenter replied:

    Yikes. Sounds like a lot of back and forth. When they are older it’ll be great, but until then it’s just torture. Great post and I hope that school starts soon.

  5. Leggy replied:

    LOL- My brother and I fought like cats & dogs. My mom had this whip she’d gotten as a soveiner from a dude ranch out west, and I used to use that in our fights because he was so much bigger than me.

    As for “they’ll always have each other”, I still think that’s true. Unfortunately, they won’t realize it until they are 20 and 24.

  6. fidget replied:

    We slide Mira’s sibling in just in time. Had there been a 4 year lapse Mira would have surely mailed Tessa to Guam the day we brought her home. They WILL always have eachother. There is an 8 yr gap between me and my bro, 9 between me and my sis. I have always resented them getting more and the best of my mom would reared me alone for sometime and had to work full time till I was 8.. in any event, we havent been the best of friends, mostly we just ignore eachother and I used to scream a LOT at them… well hell’s bells, My brother is living with us now so he has the room to figure out what he wants to do in life instead of running off to the air force soly to escape my dad… so one day, one far off day, they may realize that they need eachother

  7. Kdubs replied:

    Nice. My son will be four when this little bugger pops out. I’m WICKED EXCITED NOW! LOLOL!

    Seriously, I used to be a teacher and children grow horns during the holidays. It shall pass… I hope!!!

  8. Comfort Addict replied:

    We had a fair amount of sibling fighting in our house. If it’s any comfort, we all became better friends when we became adults.

    I wish that we all had the wisdom and strength that Andi has (I especially wish that I had it).

  9. Library Lady replied:

    My girls are 4 years apart and SC frequently complains she wishes she were an only child! I told her maybe in her next life 🙂

    Right now she is in NYC with her paternal grandparents. She does this every Christmas and usually in June as well and loves being the center of attention there.

    Meanwhile JR is at home with us. Usually she hates this and is crabby until her big sister gets home, but this year she seems a lot happier. Probably because she is sleeping in her sister’s loft bed, which she covets, and knows her sister will HATE hearing about when she returns.

    Ahh, sibling rivalry. SIGH….

  10. newsucnuse replied:

    If it makes you feel any better, one of my twins has also mentioned more than once that she’d prefer her sister wasn’t around.

    Since they’ve known nothing but being twins, I wonder where she gets this notion that life would be better without her sister.

    Also my niece, who is four years older than her brother, could not abide his presence until he was at least four or five. She’s now 21 and he’s 17 and you’ve never seen a more beautiful sibling relationship. So there’s hope!

  11. Desperate To Be a Housewife replied:

    Humph! Tell me about it…can’t wait til the kids go back to school. They are so incredibly bored (bored? Like Santa didn’t bring them a million things to fill their time!) that they spend their days bickering and fighting. My middle daughter is so incredibly nasty to her brother too. I keep reminding them that Mom & Dad will one day be gone and their friends won’t be there forever, but their siblings will stand by them through anything…and they’ll get along great one day….right?!!

  12. CJ replied:

    Oh the things to look forward to huh? My three year old has been a terror since Christmas. Her older sister is being a saint for putting up with her…. I am starting to dread next Christmas. Its just too much excitment for those little bodies.


  13. Jessica replied:

    The girls missed each other so much while A Girl was away that I thought we’d have a honeymoon period of no fighting when she got back. But the fighting began almost immediately “No, I want to sit next to mommy. You got her for three months while I was gone!” “But that’s not fair! You always get what you want!” Sometimes I feel like Big D and I are always negotiating peace treaties. My Dad subscribed to the policy that it’s best to let the kids work it out on their own but I think that’s a cop out because they don’t yet have the skills or the judgment to do that. My Mom would just tell me that since I was the oldest, I should just give in. Another cop out. Helping to negotiate sibling rivalry makes our job as parents harder but we’re hoping that in the end, they’ll have a better relationship and be better friends if we help them through the rough spots. I guess we’ll see!

  14. Cheryl Fuller replied:

    For years my daughter, who is three years older than her brother, would from time to time dramatically proclaim, “I was much happier before he was born, you know.” But somehow through it all they became very close and now as adults, they are very good friends.

  15. Jessica replied:

    Sounds like they fight like brother and sister but I’m willing to bet they love like it, too…so funny (albeit draining).

  16. Genevieve replied:

    My only child keeps mentioning that he’d like a little brother . . . seems like the grass is always greener!

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