So, yesterday I heard Kelly Ripa say something that just really hit home for me. She said that her children would fight over sand at the beach. I KNOW that! I LIVE that!
I kid you not that my children will fight over trash! They fight over who is first, who is last. Who has most, who has least. Who is more loved. I get so tired of the fighting. Sometimes you don't even see it coming-it's hidden in the most innocuous-seeming questions. Jared:"Lindsay, how much is left of your ice cream?" (then a triumphant "HA" when she has less than him-he has won the unspoken contest of who can make their ice cream last longer--therefore having something that the other child no longer has).
I would not think this would be a big issue in my home. I have NEVER incited this in them. I do not encourage comparisons or rivalry in any way. I tell them constantly "It's not a competition". But I am wasting my breath, because life is a competition to them. I used to joke when they would question ridiculous things ("he got one more m&m than I got") and tell them "that's because I love him/her more" and then give them a silly smile-to let them know that there was no reason-and it was not intentional that I slighted that child with less. I did find out though that this was not good. In a serious moment one of them told me that they did not like this joke-ok, no more of that...
We are adding Haley into this. The other day Jared laid his head in my lap and she FREAKED out. She made it very clear (in her mostly word-less way) that she owns that lap and he'd better get his endangered head out of it. And on the rare occasion that Lindsay dares to sit on my lap...watch out! Oh, and then you have the hair jealousy. You see, Lindsay has hair-so I sometimes fix it for her. Haley has none to speak of, but I have to pretend to fix hers lest it hurt her feelers-if she gets less attention.
Sigh...I'm sure all 3 of them will end up on the therapist's couch one day and it will all be my fault...because I loved one more than the other or gave one of them 3 drops more of milk than the other two. No matter how many times I assure them that this is not true, it is simply impossible to measure some things in exacts....they will not believe me.
I'll leave you with a list of things that they have fought over:
1. empty tic-tac containers (ie trash)
3. bent curtain rods (trash)
4. water (there's lots of it)
5. leaves in the yard (again, not a limited supply)
6. time/attention/love from us parents (this one I do understand a little bit)
7. who is first/last/best/worst/most/least of any number of things
8. a dime found under the register ("It's not fair, why did she find one and I didn't?")
9. Who is biggest/smallest/fattest/thinnest...
You get the picture!