Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flying Fists

The sobs I heard from the receiver on my phone portrayed the desperation of my daughter as well as her frustration with her younger brother.  I could feel the anxiety in her voice wash over me and suddenly I was transported to that older sister situation again, with younger brothers who were not acting the way they ought.

Shoes.  They are the bane of my existence when it comes to my second born.  He has a certain fascination with having them be exactly right, and in a certain way, or he melts down.  Today was mismatched shoe day, and he was having trauma over what shoe to pick to offset the green camouflage lace up tennis shoe he usually wears.  My daughter on the other hand is trying so hard to be the responsible older sister, with sage advice and the voice of experience, telling him to try the sandal, because it will look cool.  Tell that to an emotionally distraught boy and bring on the fireworks.

“Don’t tell me what to do! I can do it myself!” is the cry that is heard up and down the neighborhood.  I’m sure the dog next door started wailing along with the whine that was being served up.  “Get your shoes on!” was the bossy reply.  Of course, I get the telephone call with the sobs and the “We are going to be late for school!” cry.  Oh the drama.

The shrill referee whistle I have around my neck is blown more often than I would like with my dear sweet angels.  With just two, you would think the arguments wouldn’t be as loud or as physical, but they are.  I’m sure that my patience is worn to the nub on more days than I can count, but we march on anyway.

My brothers and I fought, a lot.  There are only 19 months between my younger brother Pete and myself.  I was still super bossy and the one who thought she knew everything.  Because I did!  No?  Well, I felt like it at age 10.  My dear brothers certainly had to put up with a lot from me, as I did with them, but I feel like we turned out okay and are pretty close considering all the fighting.  We hang out with Pete and his family, and although my youngest brother, Dave, lives far away, we love it when he comes to visit.  Will my two cherubs have similar experiences when they are grown?  Will they eventually grow to like each other?

Something I see reflected from my own childhood into my own children’s behavior is it is fine to fight with each other, but heaven forbid anyone try to do it to the other one.  They are extremely fierce in standing up for each other, even to me, and very loyal.  Is that they key?  Does that mean that they will like each other someday?

I’ve decided that I have unrealistic expectations, because my kids are kids; they aren’t miniature adults that have conflict resolution experience and training.  The oldest is always going to be bossy, (‘cause I still am, just ask my brothers!) and the youngest is still going to balk at what the oldest is trying to do.  They will learn great ways to compromise, even though they don’t realize it, and be experts when they are older.

There is some peace in knowing that they were happy when walking to school today.  A friend watched them from her porch (thanks Delaney) and saw them wave as they made their way past her house.  The fight was short lived, and resolved rather quickly, if that is any indication. 

Did you fight with siblings as a child? How do you deal with fighting children?
*Thanks for the image, Google!*

1 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

Terresa said...

We fought like cats and dogs. I have a scar on my eyelid from my younger brother who scratched me. And then my older sis and I fought (physically and verbally) while roommates in college. True story. We still have disagreements today, but over the decades have learned to handle them more like adults, thank goodness.

My kids fight, too. I think it's a part of establishing your identity and growing up. I've told my kids it's the adversary entering our home. Sometimes that quiets them, but more than often, it doesn't.

Someday they will learn to love their siblings and set aside their differences...I'm just wondering when that day will be. It was a long time in coming for myself. (gulp)

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