This is what I learned yesterday, if you want your kids to bond, give them a common enemy. The enemy, being me. Let me explain. Lately, little lady has been a bit, oh, how should I say this…difficult, bossy, demanding, crazy…take your pick. She is transforming right in front of my eyes from a sweet, mommy-loving little girl to the devil. Everyone likes to talk about the terrible two’s (though, it’s really three that sucks), but up until this point, little lady has been pretty darn pleasant. All my kids were pleasant at two, hence I had more than one. However, now that she is just about half way through her second year, I can feel the winds of change coming, though it feels more like a hurricane if you ask me.
Take last night for instance, little lady loves to travel with her food, and not just with dry snacks like goldfish. She travels with everything from her macaroni and cheese to her yogurt. Each time she travels, we ask her to come back. She used to listen. Not so much, anymore. So, last night, she decided that she would take her yogurt and eat it on the couch, naked (did I mention she can’t seem to keep her clothes on, either) while watching her brothers horseplay, like someone eating popcorn while watching a movie. Needless to say, by the time I caught the infraction, she had spilled yogurt all over my couch. I took the yogurt, reprimanded the lady, and went back to cleaning the kitchen. Then, little lady decided she wanted a scoop of peanut butter. I said, no. She ignored me. So, there she is, on the floor with a giant ladle in the peanut butter jar. Disgusted, I again reprimanded her, put the peanut butter jar away and told her to take her ladle to the table. She ran. I chased her. She screamed. I put her at the table. She ran again. I took the spoon. She freaked out, slamming cabinets freaked out, screaming at the top of her lungs freaked out. So, little lady got her first time out, and guess who was upset…second son! The nerve of that boy. King tormentor himself, the boy who follows no rules, declared loudly that he was angry with me for giving his sister a time out. He further went on to tell me that perhaps if I had talked a little nicer to her, that maybe she would have listened. Say what? I explained to second son that his sister was now old enough that she could follow simple rules, like stay in the kitchen with your food, but he protested. He said she was just a baby, at which first son, though not completely on his sister’s side, said I had gotten carried away. Who were these kids, and weren’t they just yelling at this same sister moments earlier for touching their cars? Apparently, they can treat her however they wish, but I, her mother, cannot sit her butt in a chair because she is wrecking my house. Interesting.I made no more efforts to explain myself (not that I need to explain myself to my kids, but they were clearly upset that I had reprimanded their sister). I was too busy relishing in the fact that second son was sticking up for his sister. The sister that most days, he can’t seem to stand. The sister that he thinks gets more than he does. The sister that he teases mercilessly. The sister that has ruined his life. It just goes to show, that sometimes, out of the stormiest moments come the sweetest blossoms. I’ll gladly play the enemy for that.