Frick and Frack are at it again and I am at my wits end! My kids are 19 months apart and the only siblings each other has. Wouldn't you think there would be some semblance of brotherly sisterly love? Not a chance. Not with these two. The problem is that neither one has the least amount of tolerance for the other. She's 14 and a freshman in High School and he is 12 and a 7th grade middle schooler. Two completely different worlds and they fight like a couple of 3 year olds.
For years, around this time of year, the old, "Santa is watching" used to do the trick beautifully. Now they are wiser, meaner and know that all that Santa crap is a bunch of bull. They have even resorted to physical retaliation,which I will not tolerate, and name calling from time to time. She, being the oldest, I have explained to her, needs to set the example. We have had many conversations about karma and that her brother's behavior is mostly a reflection of the "mean" that she projects at him. I might as well be talking to the wall because she's not listening. She repeats the "he's so annoying" mantra over and over until the words become her reality. He is the youngest and complains that "she hates me so I hate her" there bye completing the vicious circle. (and I do mean vicious) He has even asked me why she hates him so much. Heartbreaking, I know.
I have to say I can relate to his angst. Being the youngest of five, all I wanted was love and attention from my older brother, my closest sibling in age. He was BRUTAL to me and I had the bruises to prove it. He saw me as nothing more than the annoying little sister he believed I was and he tortured me for it. My greatest weapon against him was,"I'm gonna tell mom". Yup, worked like a charm although I very rarely told on him. I wanted him to love me and I knew that going to mom would effectively put an end to that. The threat was all I needed and when I felt imminent danger, you bet I would use it. The moral of that story is that now, as adults, he is possibly one of my best friends and my go-to-guy on a lot of things. As for these two? I really wonder.
Take for example this exchange last week while I was in another country.
CELL PHONE RINGING IN LOUD CASINO
HER: Mom, He is in your room and we (her TWO friends) want to watch a movie and He won't let us.
ME: What? (placing my finger in my ear to hear better) Why are you and your friends in my room? (this NEVER happens-almost of the time they are holed up in her room and rarely come out, except to eat-we call her room The Den)
HER: We want to watch a movie and the Babysitter is watching TV in the family room so we can only watch it in your room and He is in there and won't let us.
ME: (now walking away from a hot blackjack table and I hand I just lost because I walked away) Can't you all watch the movie together?
HER: No way mom! We don't want him around.
ME: He was there first and does not have two friends over so either you let Him watch the movie with you or you go back to your room and leave Him alone.
HER: Mom! That's so NOT fair! There are three of us and we need to lay on the bed.
ME: So ask him nicely if he will move over to the sofa.
HER: He won't mom! He's being annoying.
ME: (because I know her so well) Did you ask Him or did you tell Him?
HER: I asked him mom, and he won't.
ME: Let me talk to your brother.
HIM: (annoyed) Mom, she comes in here and starts bossing me around and telling me to leave.
ME: I will deal with that when I come home. As for now, she has agreed to watch a movie with all of you together. Would you mind moving over to the sofa so that you and the three girls can all watch the movie comfortably?
HIM: I don't want to watch a movie. I want to got to bed and you said I could sleep in your bed while you were away.
ME: (realizing that this is not going to be easily resolved AND that I am problem solving via cell phone from another country) Ok then, you have two options. Number one, got to bed in your own room or number 2, watch the movie with the girls and fall asleep on the sofa. In case you guys haven't noticed, I am in Aruba.
HIM: Whatever mom. She can have your room. I HATE HER!! Click........
I didn't call back. I decided to let them work it out on their own. Call me a bad mother, call me a coward, call me crazy but I've had just about all I can take of the war of my children. Whether I am thousands of miles away or just down the hall-somehow they have to learn to work things out on their own. I hope and pray that they will become best friends someday. It's just that today I am waiting and wondering when and if someday will come.