Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Sibling Rivalry Scoresheet

Two of my three kids (the 8 year old and the 6 year old) fight with each other constantly. It's actually more than that.  They compete with each other over everything.  And the appear to be keeping score. 

It never, ever stops. If one of them gets a glass of water, the other one has to get one too and it has to be bigger. If one of them brushes their teeth, they are sure to announce in their loudest voice: "Mommy! Why am I the only kid who's brushing their teeth right now?" And then the other kid gets all stabby and stomps down the hall, pushes their sibling out of the way and commencing to brush only out of the urge to best their competition, with no thought whatsoever to proper oral hygiene.  It is all more annoying than anything in the history of the world, except maybe for headlice.

The worst part is – I don’t even know what they’re competing for. I'm the oldest in my family and my closest sibling is 13 years younger than I am.  So I don't get the rivalry thing at all.  I adore my brother and sister and have since the day they were born. Sure, sometimes we get on each other's nerves but we always love each other.  And I can't tell you how much I have always wanted to have had a brother or sister my own age, my whole entire life.  I truly don't understand why they don't appreciate how lucky they are to have each other. 

Why is it always a contest?  That would get exhausting. I already find it pretty tedious and I'm not even competing.  I mean - are they playing some of kind of game that I don’t understand? Do you get points for being the first kid in the car? Is that why they race and shove each other like there are rabid wolves chasing them?

It would be very helpful for everyone if there was some sort of scoresheet. That way I would know what was going on and they would know exactly where they were in the family standings.  Once they knew for sure what the score was, maybe the game would get less interesting.  Maybe they would get distracted and move onto something else, like becoming lifelong friends and learning valuable lessons about how important family is. 

So I decided to make a scoresheet.  Sort of like baseball, which my husband very snottily informed me is all about understanding statistics.  As we all know I'm practically a rocket scientist, so I don't know why he was acting all superior when he said that.  Because with my handy-dandy scoresheet, we can all be clear on how everyone is doing in this bizarre game we joking call: "Our Normal Happy Family".

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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