siblings, meet rivalry

Lately, our kids have been racing each other every night to turn off the tv, and having a big fight when they get there (and hell no, I haven’t taught them how to use the remote. Are you mad?).

This has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever seen two people fight over.
I’ve attempted to slice through this Gordian knot by decreeing that the child whose turn it is to pick the tv show that night is the one who gets to turn off the tv, but that hasn’t worked. They’re still fighting over it.

We’ve been having a lot of these situations lately, and it’s almost ridiculous, the kinds of things that they have conflict over. The Potato in particular is starting to have some very definite ideas of how things should work–who should go down the stairs first to have breakfast in the morning, who should turn on the bathroom light. Part of this is related to his control issues that I blogged about a few weeks ago. Part of it is that his sister spends a lot of time telling him what to do, and he’s just trying to get some of his own back.

Landisdad and I were talking about it last night, and it made me wonder–for those of you with more than one child, what’s the stupidest thing that your kids have ever fought about?


February 26, 2006. growing up.


  1. Sandra replied:

    Lately? One piece of Lego.

  2. Suzanne replied:

    My kids fight over the TV, too. If one of them gets there first and turns the TV off, the other will turn in back on, then off again.

    They also fight over who will turn on the light switch on the wall going upstairs. Same principle: turned on by first person there, turned off and then back on by the runner up.

    Drives me batty.

  3. Elizabeth replied:

    Today my boys were fighting over which of them would get to put a wooden bead back in the box. My husband finally took another one out of the box so they could each put one away.

    They’ve also been known to have screaming fights over which one gets to push the button to start the washing machine.

  4. Anne replied:

    Anna: “Mom, Laura’s looking at me! Stop looking at me, Laura!”

    Mom: “Just ignore her.”

    Laura: “Don’t ‘nore me, Anna! Don’t ‘nore me! Waaaaaaaaaaah! Mommy, Anna’s ‘noring me!”


  5. elise replied:

    My friend’s kids once fought over who was the biggest idiot. “I’m the biggest idiot!”, “No, I’m the biggest idiot!” I think she ended up tellling them they were both big idiots, but I don’t know if that made them happy. One of her kids is a teenager, so maybe that it was happens when a teenager fights!

  6. christie replied:

    my older sister and I, when we were 3 and 5 (and it was just the 2 of us kids) we used to listen to this french group called the Singing Nuns (actual french nuns who sang…) and we’d fight over who was the prettiest nun. I have a scar on my right elbow to prove it. Hehehe.
    The prettiest nun? Man we were dorks! Hehe

  7. chichimama replied:

    My kids fought last night over who got to go to bed first. I had a very hard time not laughing.

    I have ended up having to do a TV chart which harkens back to my days as a child. Each child gets a certain number of stickers and can choose that number of shows. Would porbably work for turning the TV on and off too I suppose.

    Ulgh. THe sibling rivalry stuff is awful.

  8. Jessica replied:

    When I was married before and had a step-son (age 4), he and my son (age 8) got in a fight about my son being invited to spend the night with a buddy – my step-son just couldn’t understand that he wouldn’t also be invited. It was a LOOOONG, LOUD arguement with lots of wailing and crying on my step-son’s part.

  9. Mere replied:

    Oh great! Is this what I have to look forward to?

    PS I’d totally go to “that conference” with you and sit in the corner and laugh!

  10. Ashley replied:

    Who gets to sit at the front of the bathtub, who gets which color towel (both always want the same one, regardless of color), etc etc..

  11. USELESS MAN replied:

    Fighting over singing. One wants to sing one song, the other another. then one sings it too fast, and while the other is complaining, the first starts singing another song. That makes the second upset because the first won’t start over to let the second sing along.

    …and on and on and on…

  12. moonface replied:

    with mine aged 4 and almost 1, i’m thinking the rivalry will soon be starting.

  13. alala replied:

    Yep. All that. We’ve instituted a policy called ‘First Boy’, on the advice of a friend who has two grown sons. Ignatz gets to be First Boy on odd-numbered days, the Sniglet on even-numbered ones. Whenever there is a conflict, the First Boy gets to choose.

    They still fight, and I have to intervene to invoke the First Boy rule – they don’t use it on their own – but it usually works, because if you’re not First Boy today, you’ll get to be First Boy tomorrow.

  14. chip replied:

    They fight about everything!! It drives me crazy. I think it’s a process thing really.
    And of course it could be much worse: NY Times article on Sibling Rivalry/Violence

  15. brettdl replied:

    I’m lucky for now. Lael is only 7 months, so the only battles we have is keeping Seth off his sister. He wants her to play like a 3-year-old rather than lay there like a lump.

  16. Daydreams and Musings replied:

    They fight over who gets to push the elevator buttons. These kids have lived in a high rise their entire lives, you’d think they’d get sick of pushing the buttons already.

  17. BBSP at five years, the remix « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] #3–Sibling rivalry is a common thing to read about, on this blog. […]

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