Having two kids so close in age, less than two years apart, means they always have someone to play with. It's heartwarming to see them sharing their toys as they sit and play. The laughter that echoes down the hall when they're both in a silly mood is one of my favourite sounds. Yeah, the one time that happened was a fun 30 minutes. Actually they get along pretty well but certainly seems like they're always at each other's throats sometimes. And I've noticed something about them when they fight. Children do not fight fair. Their bite, scratch, slap, pull hair, and use emotional blackmail.
"Why did you hit your sister?"
"I hit her because she said she loved you more than I do."
I know they love each other. Every night before bedtime they have to give each other a good night kiss. The little one gets pretty offended if that step is skipped. But if they decide they both want to play with the same doll or use the same blanket then it turns into the sort of no holds barred mayhem you usually have to get pay per view to witness. As I watch the playroom turn into the thunderdome I can't help but remember what it was like growing up with a sister only two years younger than me. We had fun but we also had some knock down drag out wars. A problem only further complicated by the fact we were comparable in size. Actually, she was probably a bit bigger than me. Maybe that's why I don't remember winning too many of the fights.
However I do remember having my nose bloodied with a cabbage patch doll. That was a good idea. Let's make a doll that has a nice soft body that's easy to grip and then give it a head made out of rock hard plastic. I like to think of it more along the lines I got smacked in the face by a mace-like club, not that I got knocked loopy by a doll. That wasn't the only time she didn't fight fair though. She once tried to grab my face and in doing so scratched me pretty good. I was left with a long scratch down the centre of my forehead to go along with the little circular one right below it. Have you ever gone to school with an exclamation mark shaped scab on your forehead? I looked like the Riddler's loud cousin. Another scuffle left me with a carpet burned eyelid. I'm just glad I closed my eye when she jumped on my head.
So what have I learned by reliving those childhood traumas? First, if both my girls learn some sort of martial art then the fights should be amazing to watch. "I know I should break it up but come on, it's like a Jet Li movie out there." I learned that no matter how much they love each other, they're going to fight from time to time. I just need to teach them to not bite or hit each other in the face with rock hard dolls. Dealing with each other in a rational non-violent way is their first opportunity to learn socially acceptable ways of dealing with conflict. Finally, I realise that the next time I see my sister I owe her a punch in the back of the head. Honestly, who hits someone in the face with a cabbage patch doll?
9 years ago