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5.16.2012

Softening sibling rivalry

Over the past couple of months, Tio has had a few sleepover opportunities where he's gone from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. The place is a lot quieter while he's gone but more importantly, it's given Kit and Doc time together without his influence.

As you may recall, Tio and Kit never really got along and so the constant shiv sharpening between them has reached some fairly nasty heights at times. Doc, innocent little blank palate that he is, decided he doesn't like Kit, either - just because he looks up to Tio - so the three of them have an unhealthy dynamic.

Without Tio there, things have changed. First, the others are bored stiff and look for anything to do and, second, they discover that the other brother isn't such an ogre after all. Kit is just under 5 years older than Doc which doesn't leave much common ground. Add that to Kit being more girl flavor than boy with his activities, whittles the 'together' stuff down even further. But they manage. Sometimes better when Buddy is there.

This is great development. Sibling rivalry is a pain in the neck. I recently proverbially 'knocked the older boys' heads together'  by telling them their world had changed and it was time for them catch up. The life they lived before was gone with all the competition that Debbie threw at them, they are nothing like each other so there's no competition here, they don't share the same friends, are in different schools and have no reason to interact. In channeling my father's temper I summed it up with: "if you don't start getting along better I'm going to shove one of you so far up each other you'll think you're twins!" They gulped, went their separate ways and have done better ever since (whether my colorful prose had any effect I'll never know).

When I was Doc's age, I began a friendship with my brother Alec (who was Kit's age) and we became closest friend for several years. When I look at the age difference between these two boys I dont know how we did it. Five years is huge between 6 and 11. But there was magic with Alec and me (read You Pedal I'll Steer). I don't know how hard that is to create, especially with two boys so different. But I do know it's possible.

So, I suppose the best thing is to keep sending Tio off for weekends away