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Why Can't You Just Get Along ?

We were driving from Ohio to Indiana in a blinding rainstorm. Rich had a new job and I was driving the children to meet him and look for houses. From the back of the car, I heard, “Mom, Melanie is looking at me!” I would look in the rear view mirror for a fraction of a second and see Melanie looking forward, not even interested in her little sister.

“Melanie, stop looking at Stephanie.” This exact conversation was repeated for three hours until, finally, I had to ground Melanie from looking at her sister amidst her protests of innocence. (She wasn’t innocent.) 

Kids fight and they tattle. They can put to shame any congressional filibuster as they describe in detail “their side” of the story. I don’t care what it is about: a sock, a shirt, shoes, toys, a look. Kids fight with abandon. Words and, sometimes, fists fly. They each have a side, they all expect mom to agree with them and help them with their defense. “I can wear her shirt; she stole my sock!” My favorite are the declarations for future consequences and outcomes. “When I am older, I will never talk to you!” or, “You are the worst sister/brother anyone could have!”

The worst part about our children fighting is that they bring us into it, each child wanting you to take their side. No matter what we say, and no matter our good intentions, in the end, everyone ends up mad at mom. Sometimes, you just have to declare yourself “Switzerland” and tell everyone to go to their corners.

There is the “tattler,” the “victim,” the "innocent," and the child who pathetically wails, "Why don't you believe me?" Each one puts mom in a position where she ends up needing the wisdom of Solomon. It is hard to believe that there could ever be a day when siblings will become friends.

The sibling relationship is one of the most complex, intimate and lasting relationships we will ever have. There are few people in the world who know you like a sibling does. There are fewer still who will defend you like a sibling will. They were there for the good, the bad and the ugly. They watched us grow up and pass through the awkward stages as we turned into adults.

Although some adult siblings have things they need to work out, generally the answer to the question I have been asked many times, "Will there ever be a time when they will get along?" is a resounding yes! Here are some pictures to prove it.

Michael and Caroline swore they would never talk to each other when they grew up.

Melanie convinced Daniel we found him in a field, and that Mom and Dad felt so bad for him they brought him home. He has since been told the truth.

Sisters-clothes, socks, looks, electric sockets...

Michael was submitted to swirlies, rides in the dryer and all sorts of "brotherly love".

two boys + a heated game of basketball= one broken arm

Some things never change. At least they are laughing...


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