As you know, I adore my sons. They are truly knights, warriors and sweethearts in nearly every way. With each other? Not so much. Their squabbling and fighting drives me nuts, drives me to nearly cursing (but I don't), makes me want to run for the hills with poetry, think about military school (for them), and wonder why, why, why are boys so aggressive and simple-minded? I just sat them down in their bedroom (they share) and hollered at them for:
- letting horseplay on the trampoline degenerate into spitting (both of them), screaming (both of them), crying (the younger one), laughing hysterically (the older one)
- banging on the front door with a broomstick in a frenzy (younger one)
- dissolving in a puddle of condescending laughter (the older one)
- saying he started it one too many times
Would I prefer the clever, diabolical and mean machinations of the female mind that my friends with daughters talk about? Sometimes. I'm crafty and witchy/bitchy enough to go head to head, I think, with any girl. I grew up with sisters and know what fighting with one is all about (thanks, Melissa, for schooling me in sibling strife). I think it's the primitive nature of the boys' fighting that gets to me. It's so physical and annoying -- and usually stupid.
What comes to mind is the great children's book No Fighting, No Biting by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by the great Maurice Sendak. Here the siblings are brother and sister, but I identify with the older sibling and her growing irritation.
Reader, how do you handle sibling bickering?