Like Jerry Springer, Minus The Flying Hair Extensions And F Bombs

We’ve entered a new phase of parenting, and it’s not an especially helpful or cute phase that you want to scrapbook like “my children will fetch me a cold drink from the refrigerator” or “my children will scratch my back on demand.”

It’s incessant fighting and I don’t like it one bit.

I’m just not sure how to handle it without losing my own temper. Perhaps it’s because I never experienced this as a child, being considerably younger than my older siblings. Perhaps it’s because I have two girls. Perhaps it’s just bad luck. Perhaps it’s because we’re all spiking estrogen at the same time and the moon is in retrograde and I have an invisible mental “kick me” mama sticker on my forehead, only visible to my daughters.

Whatever it is? Stinks.

Lately Miss C and Miss A can’t be around each other for more than 30 minutes without a “GIVE ME THAT!” or “THAT’S MINE!”

It’s turned my ability to carry on a normal telephone conversation into a bad episode of Roseanne. Who knew I had an inner redneck woman just waiting to rear her ugly head every time I yell, “STOP IT RIGHT NOW GEHWEUEEEERRRRRRAAAAAGFGGGGHHHHHH!” and have the urge to smash an ice cold can of Bud on my forehead.

Today I’ve been at home with both girls as Miss A has a low grade fever. The day has been riddled with various snits and spats.

My ability to even type out this post is brought to you by overindulgence in Sponge Bob.

27 comments

  1. Bluegrass Mama says:

    I have no idea how you missed this phase in your own formative years. My children are almost 10 years apart and opposite genders, and they bickered incessantly for years. It started to improve when they were 14 and 4, and for Mother’s Day one year my son decided his gift to me would be to avoid fighting with his little sister. He must have realized that life was more pleasant for him as well, because he never picked on her quite as much again after that. Not that life was perfect, but it was much improved.

    Bluegrass Mama’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Cincinnati Reds? Secret Plan to Move Out of the Basement

  2. rachel says:

    If I could, I would send you chocolate soaked in rum, with a side of Patron just for good measure.

    I don’t look forward to this stage, but it’s completely normal. I remember doing this with my brother who’s 3 years younger than I am and now we’re the best of friends.

    I think my parents survived it through Bourbon and Cokes, lots of Bourbon and Cokes.

    I send you blessings and patience honey 😉 Good luck!!! Happy Belated to Miss Thing! We were out of town so I missed wishing her a HB via you!

    rachel’s last blog post..More Than, Less Than… Wednesday

  3. Yvie says:

    I’ve experienced this myself as a kid. My brother and I bickered and fought a lot at that time. I really don’t know what’s up with me anyway? As I see this, when you usually have 2 kids—this is what we classify as sibling rivalry.

    I remember my mom getting so tired and angry at our constant fighting. Eventually, it stopped when we are old enough to understand how silly it is to fight over small things. Now my brother and I are loving and at peace with each other.

    Now that I am a Mom, I think I may have a little idea on how I’d deal with this.

    I really don’t know what advice I can give you, but I guess, instead of lashing out to them, maybe you can talk with your kids. Ask them what’s up and tell them that families shouldn’t fight with each other—they should understand and love each other.

    Hope things are going well with you and your girls.

    -Yvie

  4. Blonde Mom says:

    Definitely had a beer when my husband got home (we didnd’t have any and I asked him to get some.)

    My sisters were 12 and 13 and my half-sister was 17 when I was born so the only fighting, really, was between my two sisters close in age.

    I think a lot of this is perpetuated by the fact that my girls now play with the same things. Before, Miss A played with more baby/toddler toys. Now they love the same Barbies, MLPs, etc.

  5. Renee says:

    take my advice with a grain of salt because I only have one child to avoid this very situation.

    However, I’ve heard that the best way to deal with the siblings bickering is to just let them deal with it themselves. Once they know that you’re no longer going to get involved in this they’ll calm down…they’re only doing this to keep you involved.

    lay down the family rules first though. Everyone must respect eachother and their stuff (so no purposly breaking the head off a favorite doll!) and no hitting or hurting with words. Then sit back and put in your ear plugs.

    Good luck!

    Renees last blog post..Letter from camp

  6. Pattie says:

    Oh Jamie,

    You have my sympathies.

    My kids have been out of school for the summer the last few days and I have the same problem. It is making me crazy! Although, I must say, i kind of like Renee’s advice…maybe I’ll try that out!

    Good luck 😉

  7. Karla says:

    You may be onto something with the two girls and being so close in age. I remember my twin sister and I bellowing in horrror to our mother on a fairly regular basis, “She’s loooooooking at me!!!”

    I’ll probably have unruly quadruplets as karmic revenge.

  8. Don Mills Diva says:

    My brother and I fought so often and so visciously I remember my mom bursting into tears and sobbing “Why do you hate each other so much?”

    I believe we were shocked for about 10 seconds and then I answered “Because he’s a BIG idiot.”

    But now we’re friends, so go figure…

    Don Mills Divas last blog post..All the things he doesn’t know

  9. Amy says:

    I feel for you. Emily has started a “MINE” phase and it is driving us bonkers. That girl is a screamer too- I can’t imagine two 🙂

    Amys last blog post..Notebook Experiments: Are Homemade Bubbles Better?

  10. Erin says:

    Spongebob is sometimes the best medicine (or at least the best child-distracter!) Just you wait until they are fighting because the younger one is borrowing the older one’s clothes without asking. My sister (also my BFF so there IS hope!!) borrowed my red thong when she was a freshmen in high school and I was LIVID (rightly so). The good thing is that we fought like hell but I miss her terribly- even the fights! (She passed away in 2003). That sister relationship is something they won’t get with anyone else!!

    Erins last blog post..Adventures in the Valley…

  11. Jennifer says:

    Just be thankful you are just now entering this phase. My girls have been like this for a long time. Most of the time they play well and it’s more my Miss A who likes to instigant things with Miss K. She’s such a stinker.

    My brother is almost 8 years older than me and he tortured me till I was about 19. So now matter how close in age or how far apart, same gender or different it happens and it’ll pass.

    Jennifers last blog post..Is My Child Speech Delayed?

  12. Sarcastic Mom says:

    My little brother and I were like that.

    My mom generally solved this problem by walking up and smacking our heads together.

    For some reason, it took us years to figure out we should just argue loudly from across the room.

    Go figure.

    Sarcastic Moms last blog post..The BEWBS Just Keep Showing Up

  13. Lisa says:

    I fear those days, Jamie…
    That being said, when my girls are arguing over something & can’t solve it, they both loose the toy for the rest of the day. Worth a try, maybe?

    Hope today is better!

    Lisas last blog post..Mama Sap, yet again…

  14. Amy says:

    At least you get 30 minutes, my 3 wait 30 seconds. I really think looking back that all three, at about the age of three, started fighting, teasing, retaliating towards their older siblings. And age six, I don’t know at your house but at my house it is causing lots of sass and teasing. I miss the terrible two’s!

  15. mamatulip says:

    I am currently in the process of getting Oliver in to a French-speaking daycare because the thought of having them together for all day, every day, every week until the 2nd of September is too much for me. Unless they are distracted by something (like right now, they’re playing in the sprinkler; I’m on the sun porch sipping coffee and listening to their delighted squeals), they are fighting. Oliver is fine when he’s on his own but when he’s with his sister he is another kid entirely. I had to keep Julia home one morning this week and by 10am I was in tears; I was so glad to drop her off at school for the afternoon that when I picked her up I was literally teary-eyed.

    Seriously.

  16. Amy says:

    It is wild here too! Constantly…hit, punch, wine, poke, scream… I’m not sure about all day with them all summer… wine and vodka, they work…maybe a BOGO martini?

  17. slackermommy says:

    My kids constant fighting makes me crazy. I barely got through the first week of summer vacation without falling to the ground in a fit of frustration.

    slackermommys last blog post..

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