No one told me that it would be like this.
Maybe it’s because I have a decade between me and my next sibling.
Maybe it’s because I don’t like to argue.
Or maybe I just ignored it before it happened to me.
The bickering, the hugging, the yelling, the kissing, the melt-downs, the tickling, the hitting and the cuddling. These girls take me back and forth through every.single.emotion.
My girls are two and four, just shy of two years apart.
For the first year, our house was fairly calm. Butterfly couldn’t get around much. Bee had the run of the house. Even more, Bee had the run of Butterfly.
Until one day, Butterfly fought back and they haven’t stopped fighting since.
They fight about the toys they want and the toys they don’t want.
They fight about the room they want to be in and the room they don’t want to be in.
They even fight about what the other eats.
I don’t get it.
I feel like they are doing it to torture me like they know that I’d rather just close the door and ignore them. Whenever I start to shrink away, Bee runs straight towards me shrieking at the top of her lungs seeking protection from her smaller, but equally feisty, sister.
Why is she shrieking? Because Butterfly picked up a movie, Colors by Preschool Prep. Yep, Butterfly had the audacity to pick up a movie that she doesn’t want to see. Mind you, we were not watching television and both of them knew that the movie wasn’t going to be played anytime soon. Bee just found the idea that Butterfly would want to see Colors is, in and of itself, offensive.
Just a few minutes later…
“Mom, we’re hungry. Can I get Butterfly some cheese,” Bee asks.
Now, Bee is willing to feed her sister before herself? She didn’t even ask for a snack for herself, even though I know she’s hungry. After Butterfly is chewing happily, Bee allows herself to ask for something to munch on.
Bee’s emotions can easily control the household, unlike Butterfly.
Thankfully, I know that Butterfly is a lot like her father. Her emotions are mainly tied to her stomach. When she starts fussing, stops listening or throws, well, anything including herself, she’s probably hungry. Occasionally, her tiredness will take over, but naps and nighttime are easy to discern.
Yet, when they get together, all heck can break loose and I don’t know how to handle it. I’ve tried singing, silly faces, dancing, distractions, counting and more.
Nothing works consistently. Sometimes, the same response doesn’t work two times in a row.
Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, how do you do it? I do you keep a sense of calm in your house.