Sisterly Love?

My girls are exactly 2 years and 2 months apart.  They were both born on the 3rd of the month, they have the same long blonde hair and blue eyes, and the only way we can tell their infant pictures apart is to check the name on the back.  They both love puzzles, they both love pink, they both love Barbie and Polly.  They both could spend an entire afternoon lying on the floor with an open coloring book and crayons sprawled all around them.  They both often do.

These similarities make them perfectly perfect playmates for one another.  They call each other ‘best friend sisters.’  They compliment one another.  They laugh at each other.  As I write, Rita is laughing so hard at something Ruby has said that she is having trouble catching her breath.

However, in a moment, this could go south as two people so seemingly similar could not be more different.

These differences make them argue.  And argue.  And argue.  Seriously.  They fight a lot.  Screaming fights.  Hitting fights.  Fights with threats of pulling the ‘best friend sister’ title.  They give me detailed reports of how the other has wronged them.

They are either hot or cold.  Never warm.  They never ignore each other.  They never disregard something the other has said.   They never play alone if the other is near.

For those of you that know us, you might be surprised to know that Ruby seems to be the instigator in most cases.  She’s sneaky.  She’ll quietly hold toys just out of Rita’s reach.   Or she’ll whisper something that will make Rita lose her mind, only to pretend she has no idea why Rita is mad.

Rita’s no saint.  (In fact, in a twist of Catholic irony, St. Rita is the Patron Saint of Impossible Cases, so we got what we asked for.)  She is impatient, short tempered, and she seems to have no shortage of rage that she can muster over something as simple as being unable to put pants on Barbie.   She’s an easy target.

Too bad for Ruby, but I was the older sister too.  I know all her tricks because I used them.  I poked, I teased, I hid stuff.  I would hold my finger a millimeter away from my sister’s face so that when she told on me I could honestly say I wasn’t touching her.  Stuff like that.  Mature stuff.   Stuff that, as a parent, makes me go ballistic.

When they fight, I can’t make them like each other.  For now, our deal is that if they are fighting, they both go to their room no matter who started it.  That helps a little.  But not much.  Twice the other day, I released them from their room, they walked out into the hall and started bickering, and I had to send them right back.

Perhaps it’s too much togetherness.  Perhaps not enough space.  Maybe too much stuff that they have to trip over to get in and out of their room and that angers them.  I don’t know.

I try to remind myself that this is a very important relationship for both of them, and the way they muddle through it will help them to be better friends, better parents, better people as they get older.  They are still learning.

In the meantime, it might be best if I just shut their door and let them have at it.

How do you manage sibling squabbles in your house?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *