Sibling Rivalry


Our children are 7 and (almost) 3. Our oldest Rhiannon, a girl, and our youngest, Flynn, a boy. They are the only children we will have.  Since our daughter was  4 1/2 when our son was born she got to have a taste of what it was like to have us all to herself, but Flynn never got to experience that. He has only known life with his sister in it.

When we first brought Flynn home, this wriggling red little baby, Rhiannon was extremely curious and helpful. She wanted to do everything for me, except go anywhere near poop. She was ever curious about private parts since Flynn had just been circumcised and she was like my little shadow for the entire 13 weeks of my maternity leave. Rhiannon had an innate understanding of just how scary and traumatic Flynn’s birth was for all us. (My placenta abrupted, my uterus ruptured and it threw me into labor, had the tributaline worked to stop my contractions we would both most likely be dead. No joke. Thankfully, it didn’t work and it just took a lot of careful clamping and an excessive amount of fluids to keep me from losing consciousness.) All of this constant watching over her baby brother gave her this very motherly attitude towards him.  I am constantly having to remind her, “YOU ARE NOT THE PARENT!”.

Tonight I heard the two of them playing, which they often do, and the two of them were bickering about something. Flynn is a hard headed little child with a loud mouth. His purpose in this world is to be heard at all costs.  Anyway, I hear Rhiannon say “No, that is not how we do things Flynn.” and he said in respond “You not tha’ mama!”  (oops, wonder where he picked that one from!)  Apparently, something happened that is still a mystery and Flynn ended up getting bonked in the mouth… I hear “I’m telling on you Wee-annon!” and he comes racing into the office saying “Wee-annon, she hit me.”    (Rhiannon yells from the other room: “NO I DIDN’T!!!”)  You get the picture. This goes on for hours and hours and hours this evening and I tried to ignore most of it but I came out with a slight twitch and didn’t get near as much done as I had hoped this evening.

It started out slowly.  It crept up on us. All of the sudden they are old enough to be bickering with each other. I find myself lost in times some nights where I wonder what they will be like as teenagers. Is this it? I would ultimately like for them to be as close as close can be since all they will have is each other for an undetermined amount of time in their adolescence and high school years… and then again when their father and I are old and senile, which may happen sooner than we both think.

But, alas, I know it gets worse after talking to my friends and co-workers who have teenage children…and well, knowing my bitch ass as a teenager, I’m doomed! ( I mean I turned out normal…right?) Kidding.

I think maybe I’m a little jealous of what they have, even if it is bitching and slapping and pinching and hitting.  Growing up, I was an only child and my sisters were not born until I was 16 and 20. They are 9 and 5 now. (Yes, I have a sister younger than my oldest.)  I just truly wish I had had that sibling companionship growing up…

The two of them may be fighting now, but they love each other a lot and when he cries from being hurt, Rhiannon wants to take care of him and when Flynn truly knows he hurt Rhiannon in some physical or emotional way, he hugs her and kisses her and says he is sorry. Let’s hope this empathy continues…

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