Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't Set Yourself On Fire For One Of The Kids Unless You're Willing To Do It For Both Of Them

Or at least that's what Eric and I jokingly remind each other all the time.

You see, from the time that Olivia was old enough to know better and express her wants, she and Alex have been engaged in a battle of wills. And a battle of "if you get it, I do too," or something like that. Frankly, life with the two of them often feels like living in Annie, Get Your Gun - anything you can do, I can do better...
I think Isabelle is little past getting in on the act and Gracie is getting there, although she's a little more independent. But with Alex and Olivia, it's each and every little thing.

This afternoon, Alex chewed off a hang-nail and started bleeding. I washed his hands in the sink and put on a band-aid. Next thing I know, Olivia is biting her own finger and saying that she hurt it. So of course she needs her hand rinsed off and a band-aid put on.

I think Eric gets the brunt of this competition though. He can't pick up one of them, or tickle one of them, or do pretty much anything with one of them without the other begging for the same.

Honestly, we really enjoy this little competition between them. It's been interesting watching it change and develop as they've grown, and watching how Isabelle and Gracie react to it. I think a lot of it has to do with their age difference of only 10 1/2 months.

Or is this just common behavior between siblings? Will Gracie be the same as she gets older too? I'd love to hear your experiences.


Sandi 1:39 AM  

That is a real attention-getting title!

AmyG 8:00 AM  

Sounds like my house. My girls are 4 yrs apart and the competition can be crazy sometimes. My 7 yr old doesn't care that she's getting to big to be tossed around like her 3 yr old sister. And anything that the 7 yr old does, the 3 yr old has to do as well. Sometimes it's not so fun, other times, it's comical to see them try to out do each other.

Blessed Mommy 9:48 AM  

My 2 yr old twins do this too. They both want the same toy, even if there are two of them. It is sooo funny watching them watching each other. Many blessings.

Mary Ann 10:01 AM  

I don't have any children of my own so I can't speak from that perspective. I take care of two 2 year old boys who are 3 months apart(different families). They are very competitive, have to have everything the other has(which is a lot for that age anyways), if one wakes up before the other it is a crisis. Especially the one boy has to do whatever the other one is doing.It doesn't matter if he was happily playing with the cars, if his friend has the blocks then he must do that too. They allow each other absolutely no space. Sometimes it's fun and other times, the constant competition is very tiring.:-)

Terri 11:15 AM  

Hi there! I just love your blog. I'm just getting started on mine, so I'm trying to find my "place" so to speak. Anyway, I too have kiddos that are 10 1/2 months apart, and I totally agree about the competition thing. Mine are constantly trying to one up each other (but in a loving way, of course :) ) They have never known a world without the other one in it, much like twins, and are trying to "prove" that they are still equals I guess. My daughter is far worse about it though. She has a very strong personality and doesn't take well to being excluded. It does make things interesting.

Rina 3:05 PM  

I've enjoyed your blog for a little while now, and I read this post with some interest. My kids actually don't engage in this type of "sibling rivalry." We've never tried to treat our children "fairly" and have raised them from the beginning to understand that "fairness" was not something they should be concerned with. We've tried to teach them to be happy for their siblings when their siblings receive something they don't get to have, as we believe this to be a foundational part of Christianity (see Mat 20:1-15). As a result, our children have never expected to receive something simply because it's given to someone else. They aren't concerend with their own "rights" but instead look for ways to bless each other and are happy when others are blessed. I think this is one of the main reasons our children get along so well together - they aren't in competition with each other. Doing away with the concept of "fairnes" in our home has done so much for our family. It's something we're grateful to have learned from an older couple long ago, and we've been blessed by the advice.

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