I am an only child. The sibling experience was somewhat lost on me, because of this. I did have an imaginary sister, but I was able to successfully settle about 95 percent of our arguments without involving my mother.
Not the case with my two children! Who knew that adding an extra child would increase the noise in our house by about 1,000 percent? Who knew that they would fight pretty much from day one? Who knew they would join forces with one common mission: to drive their mother INSANE?
People who had siblings... that’s who!
Of course, I did not know any of these things. I am experiencing sibling rivalry for the first time -- as the parent. Some days, I honestly think my head is going to explode!
Let me explain my kids. I have a 5-year-old girl, who is the Informer. As her father likes to say, she is incapable of internalizing a thought. She says everything, from the most mundane, “Mommy... um mommy, mommy... I went upstairs and got my crayons and now I’m going to draw a picture,” to the most inappropriate, “Mommy, mommy.... um mommy, today at school I had to sit in the corner because I wouldn’t stop saying that I had to fart, but I did have to fart, but then I didn’t have to fart, but then I did fart when I was sitting in the corner and it was loud.” Mostly she likes to keep us informed of all the injustices in her world, “Mommy! Why does my brother have more syrup on his pancakes?" Mommy! You only gave me a kiss on the cheek but you just kissed him on his cheek and his head!" "Mommy! Why do you get a headache when I keep saying 'Mommy' but when he says 'Mommy' you don't?"
Her younger brother is the Observer. He closely watches everything his sister does and then he does it too, only bigger. If she jumps off the bottom step, he jumps off the second-to-bottom step. If she is wearing a princess dress, he is wearing a princess dress, earrings, and high heals (yes my 3-year-old son is a cross dresser... and I support her). When she yells “MOMMY!” he screams "MOMMY!"
I have recently noticed that much of their screaming, fighting, and all around insane-driving happens when I’m in the middle of something that doesn’t involve them. It is always the worst when I am on the phone. Just a few days ago, I received a call from my not-yet-a-parent best friend. When I answered the phone, I heard a cautious “Hi” followed by a short pause and “Where are they?” I asked, “Where are who?” To which she responded, “Your children... they never let you talk.”