Clashes of the Siblings

Not AGAIN?! This is what, the 50th time today? Choose from: *Palm face* *Stamp feet* *Hands on hips* *Wag finger* *Pull hair* *Scream* *Meltdown* A combination of some, or all if you prefer.

But there is no stopping the inevitable – Sibling squabbles.

The partners in crime (yes, it’s a crime to be so noisy, all the time!) – an elder brother plus a younger sister. Now add complications into the equation: A bossy, responsible, everything-is-black-or-white brother. A who-cares-about-rules, argumentative, hard-headed sister. What do the parents get? World war III. Everyday.

Aren’t there happy moments? Sure, there are. When the siblings are playing with each other (albeit noisily) and leaving us old folks alone. But as predictable as the revolution of the earth around the sun, interaction will definitely lead to conflict sooner or later.

Now that Megan is more eloquent in her speech, the chances of squabbles breaking out have more than doubled. As irritating as the squabbles are at the moment they start, there are funny moments too. (Well, laughing at the kids is a way of keeping sane. Afterwards.)

Being trapped in a car ride is the time where the squabbles cannot be ignored (short of jumping off the moving car). And it is in the car where I get to hear the ‘funny stuff’.

Megan has been showing off her ability to recite numbers in sequence from 1 to 100 recently. On this occasion, she had been counting while Matthew was talking about I-forgot-what to nobody in particular. Irritated, she lashed out at her brother beside her: “Can you stop talking? I’m counting.” in her semi-whiny, girly voice.

Matthew replied with a bored drawl, “Fine.” and stopped talking. I was secretly surprised he was so amicable, for once.

The answer was revealed in the next moment. Matthew started singing to himself. And there was nothing Megan could do about it.

The kids have started a weird game I termed helpers-thieves. As the car travels along the road, the kids will identify specific types of vehicles (buses, taxis, or trucks) as their helpers to catch ‘bad guys’ (other types of vehicles). Whoever ‘recruits’ the most helpers wins. Sometimes the kids will team up; sometimes they compete with each other. On this occasion, Matthew decided to ‘recruit’ fixtures along the road as his helpers too. Of course, Megan would not be outdone.

Matthew: “The traffic lights are my helpers.”

Megan: “Trees are my helpers.” As there are more trees compared to traffic lights along the road, Matthew looked to be on the losing end. And he hates to lose. Especially, and particularly, to his sister.

Matthew scoffed: “Trees cannot move. Not counted.”

Megan immediately retorted: “Traffic lights also cannot move what.” Witty, and still clear-headed I must say, despite nearing bed time.

That did the trick. Matthew, who always wants to have the last say, was silenced. That was the end of the game for that session too. And a peaceful ride for the rest of the journey.

Siblings. Loving one moment, going for each other’s throats the other. Pretty much like husband and wife, for my kids at least. Life would probably be duller and quiet, if not for my squabbling, noisy kids. How I love them so…


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