Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's Don't Spit on Your Sibling Day!

Today is National Siblings Day. It is the day to commemorate how badly you tortured your siblings, if you had any. Or if you still torture them, let's be nice to them for just one day. It won't hurt. 

I can't say that James and Natalie will care much if I tell them about how nice they should be to each other. I'm pretty lucky because they do get along pretty well. We have our moments of screaming and crying and pushing. The claws do come out sometimes. In Natalie's world, she has claws since she really does believe that she's a cat. But they do get along most of the time, even if 80% of the time it involves James giving into demands set forth by his little sister. 

James is a whole lot like how I was a child- the peacemaker. 
Gotta keep the peace.. it's the top priority especially when things are tense. 
Just give that big sigh and give in with a mumbled "fine" when it comes to your sibling and the power struggle is over with. Being a people-pleaser is hard work, but it's also easier if you're flexible and pliable just like James' nerves. Natalie is well aware that her big brother loves her. They tell each other all of the time how much they love one another. It's encouraging for me, as the mom, that her children have souls. 
It's also very easy to get what you want if you're a 6 year old boy who knows how to massage egos. 

"Natalie (said in a sing-songy way) you look very preeeettttty. Can I have your candy?" 50% of the time this tactic works. He knows his little sister loves compliments. She gobbles them right up while James gobbles up her candy. 
On the other hand, Natalie knows how to get what she wants from James by screaming and whining. I'm not saying this works every time because it does not. But he does tend to give into her just so she'll stop the tantrum. 
I gotta work on that. 

Growing up I was the middle kid so screaming and whining didn't get me my little brother's toy or my big sister's makeup to play with, it only got me a nice warm spot in the corner. I learned this at a super young age. 

God I hated the corner. I know that I had spent longer times in that spot than my own children do. I can remember my dad leaving me in there just so he could watch a half an hour show. I could memorize every curve and line of our wood paneling from staring at it for so long. Maybe that was point? Maybe it worked. I put myself in some weird wood-paneling induced trance state. 

As for Natalie and James, the corner time out spot doesn't do much for them. I use it to cool them off, usually because of an altercation between the 2 of them or because James rolled his eyes at me (that's a brand new skill by the way). For Natalie, she holds a grudge for at least a few hours after getting out from the dreaded corner. James holds a grudge for a few minutes and then I'm getting hugs again. 

In our home we don't have a middle sibling, just the oldest and youngest. There is only 16 months between the 2 of them so in some ways, they're almost the same age. Both want to be 13. And I want to crawl into a deep, dark cave when they are 13. 

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