Nowadays, are kids as unfamiliar with the movie ‘Bambi‘ as they are the rotary phone and cassette player? [Spoiler alert!] Even though Bambi’s mother was killed (the butler did it), the movie is full of excellent lessons with very little dialogue.
During one scene, Thumper says about Bambi, “He doesn’t walk very good, does he?” His mother quickly chimes in and says, “Thumper, what did your father tell you this morning?” Thumper responds, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
I shutdown my main Facebook account, because I was tired of all the negativity filling the walls. Unfortunately, I am unable to take such actions on my kids.
Tape an audio player to my chest and put the switch on repeat … I am constantly reminding my kids to say something nice to each other or say nothing to each other. Of course, then I need to remind the boys to keep their hands to themselves, which is followed by the reminder to stop looking at each other, which is followed by the reminder to keep their tongues in their mouth, which is followed by … well, you get the idea.
Recently, during a seemingly infinite ride to school, Joe said, “Mommy, Charlie is so annoying! Can he just live in the basement?”
Brotherly love is a wonderful thing to witness, don’t you think? In all fairness, Joe and Charlie do get along more often than not, provided they are sitting in separate rooms, on separate couches or in separate buildings.
During another never ending ride to school, Joe asked, “Mommy, can we get a mini van, so Charlie can sit in the way-back and I can sit in the middle?”
I have four sisters and one brother, and I am the youngest. I am not oblivious to the back and forth fighting that takes place between siblings. I understand sibling bickering, sibling annoyances and sibling battles. In fact, my brother (49 yrs old) and I (42 yrs old) continue to push each others buttons on occasion, just to see if the button still registers a reaction. (Yes, our pushed buttons still generates a reaction.)
When I was a kid, I had an easy time annoying one of my sisters (the one closest to my age). Honestly, I enjoyed bothering her.
But the flip side – as a parent? Oh my goodness, how on earth is my Mom still living after raising six bickering kids? Get this – my Mom still has a full head of hair, too! AND … my Mom does not drink alcohol or smoke. AND … my Mom does not eat ice cream on a daily basis either!
I posed the following question to several friends: “Do your kids fight and/or did you fight with your sibling when you were young?” Based on the responses so far, my kids are oddballs, and me and my siblings are oddballs. (As if we were not oddballs prior to bickering.)
Apparently, other kids (and former kids) in the world get along with their siblings, and every day is a lovefest, minus one or two moments where one sibling insists on sharing his toys with his sibling and the other sibling insists she shares her toys with him.
I am not sure I believe my friends are telling the whole truth, though I am not going to challenge their claim. I’ll take the advice of Thumper’s father and not say anything at all.
I admit the fact that I thought picking on my sister was fun, especially when it aggravated her. However, hearing my boys pick on each other for every little thing is … well, it’s annoying.
I suppose parental payback comes in all forms, which explains why my Mom laughed hard when I shared my frustration with her.