Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Bickersons. 2.0

Growing up, my older brother and I used to fight. You know, like siblings do.  "It's mine!"  "Give it back!"  "Stop it!"  All that good stuff. 

I remember one time my brother calling me out on the fact that I used to yell loudly so that I would be guaranteed to get the attention of whatever parental unit was closest.  At the time, I don't think I consciously realized I was doing it,  but of course, that was exactly my tactic.  We grew out of it eventually.  Especially when our Dad remarried and my step-mom and her four kids moved in - because that was when we got a glimpse at some experts in sibling battles.  The Bickersons.

My two younger step-sibs, lets call them Thing 1 and Thing 2 for the purposes of this post, were unbelievable.  Thing 1, my brother - age 9 when they moved in.  Thing 2, the baby girl - age 5 when we all came together.  They would just pick at each other constantly.  T1 would drive T2 crazy - and vice versa.  They didn't really fight physically that I can remember - but the nagging, the teasing, the never-ending pick, pick, pick. My Dad dubbed them, "The Bickersons."  I had never seen the likes of it.  And thought I never would again.  Funny thing, life.

Enter Wonderboy and Pixie.  Ages - almost 7 and 4, respectively.  I think they are going to give the original Bickersons a run for their money.  Wonderboy has inherited my "yelling loudly" technique.  Which, in hindsight, is completely annoying!  What really drives him crazy though is when the Pixie will say something nonsensical.  She's constantly bringing up events that only happened in her head which he is well and determined to prove DID NOT HAPPEN.  "You didn't have a party today.  Did she have a party today, Mom? See? You didn't have a party."

It's like he can't reconcile her 3yr old brain in his 6yr old brain.  As far as he's concerned - anything that someone says is taken at face value.  If she calls something by a wrong name, he has to point it out.  If she says something random, he has to prove that it's nonsense.  It's that same pick, pick, pick.  GAH! 

Then, of course, are the times when it does get physical.  This is usually running around play that turns into something more rough and Wonderboy forgets that she is smaller then him.  I always know the moment it has gone too far because I will hear her start to cry and he is instantly trying to make her laugh so he doesn't get busted.  Lately, his tactic is to hit himself "in the jimmies," or tell her to.  (Because everything to do with butts or penis' is hilarious, didn't you know that?)  Anyway, I'm waiting for the day that it's going to backfire on him and she's going to haul off and kick him in the nuts.

They are driving me mental.  And I'm not always sure the best way to handle it.  Intervene?  Don't intervene?  Let them try work it out?  (Secretly, and as a former "little sister"  I tend to think that route usually benefits the elder child...)  Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Because if I don't get some relief from the Bickersons Next Generation soon I might as well go out and buy my own liquor store.

11 comments:

Aging Mommy said...

I've not had direct experience in dealing with this having just the one child, but friends I know have experienced this and say that when things start to escalate you should intervene but never take sides. Just direct comments at both children e.g. you two both need to stop doing that. If you always do that then it eliminates one of the main reasons kids play up like this which is to get parental attention for themselves. I am sure other Moms reading your blog who have dealt with this issue will have some great advice too.

Logical Libby said...

The rule in our house was whoever hit first got in trouble So, I used to egg my sister on to hit me.

God, I was a jerk.

for a different kind of girl said...

I spend a huge chunk of my weekends telling my boys to separate. They get along great, even with the age difference, but seriously, they simply don't realize they can (AND SHOULD!!) do things without the other at some point because at some point it does turn into bickering, and I can't tolerate the bickering!

I grew up with a bickering sister, which is why I have a short fuse for it now. My only hope is that her two daughters act just like she did when we were growing up. Justice like that must prevail!

(p.s. - last year's chocolate Easter rabbit is still intact and untarnished in my pantry, btw...)

the mama bird diaries said...

My mother never intervened when my sister and I fought and I think it encourages bad behavior. I give my girls a few minutes to work it out and then I intervene before it gets nasty.

bernthis said...

wish I could help but I'm of the "one and done" club

myfluffybunnies said...

Hit me in the jimmies. Ha! Can't wait for my son to pull that one out. I have no advice, but I could definitely use some. As an only child, I have zero idea what to do when my kiddos bicker. And boy do they!

5 Kids With Disabilities said...

Boy! Wonderboy is one brave boy! She is only 3 now, but she'll get older, and she WILL haul off and hit him!
As much as I hate it in my own kids, I think it is normal. I generally try to distract one of them by asking them to come help me with something.
Lindsey Petersen

The Queen said...

Princess was an only child.. she argued with herself.. YOU don't have problems... ha ha..

Jenny said...

Oh boy, that brings back memories for sure.

The Floydster said...

I'm one of 5 and the Bickersons, EITHER generation, had nothing on us. God, how we bickered! Mom usually just ignored us until one of us went off or she couldn't stand it anymore. Many years later when we were all grown up, we asked her how could she stand us and the bickering. She claimed she couldn't really remember a lot of bickering going on. Denial is a wonderful thing!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

God - this sounds familiar... My twins are ridiculous. Three years old and they disagree just for the hell of it. I've heard them argue about whether it's raining or not (on a sunny day), if George is a girl or not (if the name doesn't tip you off - he's a boy) and which one of them picked a bedtime story book. I find myself screaming. Agree to disagree! Just Agree to disagree! I need an HR director around here...