Sunday, August 05, 2007

Some Days You Get the Bear...

There are times when parenthood is very fulfilling.

And then there are those times when feeding yourself to a bear sounds preferable to dealing with ONE MORE MINUTE of your children grousing at eachother and you.

This has been one of those weekends where I feel like I might contemplate throwing myself out of my 22nd floor office window tomorrow morning if my children do not stop fighting with eachother and give me a few minutes of peace and quiet.

When we first came home from Vietnam with Lana, I was on the phone with my Girlfriend CB, who is a veteran mom-of-two, and whose two children are always incredibly polite, well-behaved and happy (at least in public. Perhaps they are monstrous in private, but, I doubt it.)

Anyway, I was on the phone with CB, crying from a combination of jet-lag, exhaustion and a sheer over-whelming feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, and I said, "CB*, how do you handle two children? How do you do it?" And she laughed and said, "well, sometimes you have to hide in bathroom when you need some time to yourself."

Now, at the time I thought she was kidding in order to make me laugh (and she did make me laugh, which is what I really needed at the time), but, I think that those of you who have two or more children probably know that I don't think she was - kidding, that is. (In fact, I know she wasn't, because I was talking to her on the phone yesterday, and I told her I thought she had been kidding about that, and she laughed and then said, "No. I wasn't kidding.")

For a while I thought that the bickering of Gabe and Lana was irregular, and odd, and freakish, and some sign that we had ruined both of their lives by our decision to make them siblings.

But, since that time, I have observed other sibling relationships, and I don't actually think that Gabe and Lana have an unusual sibling relationship at all. I think it is pretty normal, in that they fight like cats and dogs. Or like Thor and Loki or Darth Vadar and Luke. Or like, Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse. Or like a guy who subscribes to Mother Jones and a guy who subscribes to the National Review. My point is, they fight with their whole beings, like they were born to live, locked in eternal conflict with the other. And then, suddenly, without warning, they are happily playing Go-Fish together, in a very noncombative way.

It's deeply confusing to watch. But, I have observed this among the children of my friends and family, and, while I think it's really really bizarre, I don't think it's abnormal sibling behavior.

Which is not to say it's not enough to drive their parents STRAIGHT OVER THE EDGE. Because it IS.

I am hiding from my children at the moment, typing this in the kitchen, and refusing to referee anymore stupid arguments between the two of them. I REFUSE. If I have to hear ONE MORE TIME that he did this or she touched that I will run stark raving mad from this house and check myself into a hotel to sleep uninterrupted for 15 hours straight, that is, AFTER I finally take a few hours to FINISH HARRY POTTER 7.

I really really really would like to finish Harry Potter 7.



*Obviously, I didn't call her "CB". I called her by her name. Because I am not on some kind of high school sports team and not in the habit of calling my girlfriends by their initials...


Anonymous Christina said...

Oh I hear ya. I've hidden in my pantry, my bedroom... my personal fave is taking a bubble bath after dinner with the door locked. :-)

Sunday, August 05, 2007 9:03:00 PM  
Blogger jenn said...

My older two do it, the twins are just starting to go at it. I am fully convinced it is a part of growing up with a sibling and hiding (so long as the kids are safe) is not a bad option to regain calm inside. My favorite is to grab a book andshut the bedroom door when my husband has them all upstairs to play...I can hardly even hear them and after awhile I feel ready to face it all!

Sunday, August 05, 2007 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I only have one and hide in the bathroom at times..... Especially now that she can zip around really good in her walker. She will stand outside the door and bang into it with her walker while screaming MAMA!!!!! I just laugh.

Monday, August 06, 2007 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

I do think the sibling fighting is a good thing...when looking at the big picture. I have endless days of "she did this/that" and it drives me insane. Unfortunately, I think it may get worse before it gets better. I hear the teenage years are fun.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger maxhelcal said...

yeah...those "teenage years" are a real hoot! Never did I ever think I could ever feel dislike for my child until now...he's 15.

My kids all break into pairs to argue. Mainly, Pheebs and Q, Max and Cal, Max and Q. Then some are extremely loyal and inseparable like Cal and Helen, Bronte and Nolan or Pheebs and Q (did I mention they are first to argue too?). Actually, everyone adores Nolan and Bronte.

I've tried hiding but they always FIND ME! :-) There is no sacred place in my house. Whenever I try to have a conversation on the phone, which is hardly ever, I am constantly roaming around the house with a trail of children behind me. If I go into a room and lock the door, they will just knock till I'm insane with hearing " in there? Mom??? over and over...THEY DO NOT GIVE UP. That is why I found salvation with going to work. I feel like a new person. I love to work. It gives me a break and I think it makes me a better mom. I had thought I would quit when B came home but chose to stay.

Now I just need 5 more hours in the day and all would be fine.


ps~ I found that although they argue, they are the first to stick up for their brother/sister in public.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 5:39:00 PM  

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