I have a younger brother which means quite obviously that I am his older sister. We are separated by four years but sometimes it seemed like we were decades apart. I mean, duh, he was like so annoying! He never left me alone and was always bothering me and my friends. I, on the other hand, never bothered him or messed with his stuff. I was always fair and never bossed or teased. Yeah right that was our life!!!!
Today I started seeing (very clearly) a mini version of me and my brother. Older son was on the couch sorting Pokemon cards, younger brother had nothing to do – so why not bother his older brother and knock his cards on the floor. You can imagine the chaos that ensued. It was probably retaliation for the older brother jumping out from behind doors and scaring the daylights out of his younger brother. It’s endless. There’s the poking, the knocking over, the annoying noises and faces and all of it sounds so familiar.
My strategy with all of this is to be completely obtuse and borderline self-absorbed. My plan is to always be doing something when the trouble boils over; texting, sorting mail, patting the dog or whatever distraction is within reach. It’s that or get dressed in the referee’s zebra shirt each morning. I’m going with the guise that I’m teaching them problem solving and conflict resolution but it’s really just my own coping strategy.
One thing is for sure, when my brother and I fought hard enough to need arbitration, we always had to go FIND Mom. She was never just standing there at the ready. She was busy doing stuff too. She also has siblings and knows rivalry first hand like the rest of us.