As an only child, the whole sibling thing is a mystery to me. I am baffled when my daughter, after ranting for ten minutes about her little brother defrocking her Elsa doll, then runs to his side, loudly proclaiming her love and devotion. I am puzzled when my son, who wouldn’t let his sister near him all morning, attempts to follow her into the bathroom. And most of all, I am completely mystified about what the heck they are fighting about every day. Here is a small taste of the day-to-day events that cause mayhem to suddenly break out in our otherwise tranquil home.
1. Little Brother has two more strawberries than Big Sister does.
2. Yesterday Little Brother had three more blueberries.
3. Three weeks ago, Big sister got the apple with the brown spot on it and that’s not fair.
4. Clearly, today Big Sister should get all the strawberries, while Little Brother should eat a raisin he found on the floor.
5. Big Sister is sitting on Mommy’s lap.
6. Little Brother is sitting on Mommy’s lap.
7. Both kids are sitting on Mommy’s lap, but Little Brother has two extra inches of lap space.
8. Little Brother has destroyed Big Sister’s block tower.
9. Little Brother has destroyed Big Sister’s tea party.
10. Little Brother has destroyed Big Sister’s family portrait (from which he is conspicuously absent).
11. Big Sister took Little Brother’s brown bear because it used to be hers.
12 Big Sister took Little Brother’s toy kitchen because it used to be hers.
13. Big Sister took Little Brother’s toy fire truck because he’s been playing with it all morning and she hasn’t gotten a turn and that’s not fair.
14. Little Brother wants to watch Mickey Mouse.
15. Big Sister want to watch Justice League.
16. Little Brother has sat on the remote, causing a lusty wench from Game of Thrones to pop on the screen.
Mommy turns off the TV. Brief consensus as both kids agree this is The End of the World.
17. Little Brother has hit Big Sister on the head (and is in time-out).
18. Big Sister has kicked Little Brother in the stomach (and is in time-out).
19. Little Brother was in time-out for two minutes while Big Sister was in time-out for five minutes and that’s not fair.
20. Little Brother is bouncing on Mommy’s stomach and Big Sister isn’t getting a turn.
21. Big Sister is bouncing on Mommy’s back and Little Brother isn’t getting a turn.
22. Mommy is hiding in the bathroom and they can’t find her.
23. Big Sister has dessert and Little Brother still has to finish his dinner.
24. Little Brother got dessert, even though he left one piece of lettuce on his plate and that’s not fair.
25. Big Sister’s ice cream is better than Little Brother’s and must be his.
26. Big Sister’s bowl is better than Little Brother’s and must be his.
27. Big Sister’s spoon is better than Little Brother’s and must be his.
Mommy announces bedtime. Brief consensus as both kids agree this is The Worst News Ever.
28. Little Brother is attempting to eat Big Sister’s toothbrush.
29. Little Brother is attempting to eat Big Sister’s hairbrush.
30. Little Brother is attempting to eat Big Sister’s favorite teddy bear.
31. Big Sister got one long bedtime story and Little Brother got two short stories and that’s not fair.
32. Little Brother has to go to bed first and that’s The Greatest Injustice of All Time.
33. Mommy can’t answer who’s getting how many strawberries in the morning. The possibility of an unequal distribution of berries causes mass chaos and revolt.
Mommy again announces it’s time for bed. Brief interlude of peace as Big Sister holds Little Brother in her arms and sings him a lullaby, while he dreamily rests his head on her shoulder. Mommy stands by in amazement, wondering what just happened, and if these are the same two kids she’s been refereeing all day. Mommy shrugs and turns off the lights, ready to face fresh battles in the morning…
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