Children number 2 and 3 are trying to kill each other. If I look back, oh lo those 3 years earlier, the signs of future discontentment were there. As I sat nursing my 2 week old, my son walked up, stared down at her tiny body, put his head on her shoulder ever so gingerly and said, “Go away.”
Since then, they have cultivated a moderate to surly disdain for each other in words and action. Every morning it’s the same:
Son: “She’s STARING AT ME!”
Me: “She’s sitting directly across from you at the table. People really have no choice but to look at you when they are directly across from you.”
I would then look in her direction to confirm the complete normalcy of the stare to find her in a Damien Omen gaze. Head down, wide, evil eyes fixed on him in a blinkless stare with the grin of Lucifer painted on her face.
I have found them running toward each other with safety scissors. I have found them in a mutual head lock so intense that I’ve changed the fabric of my cells from solid to semi-gas to pry myself into the spaces between their hatred of each other.
If they are awake, they are at each other’s throats as in, they are literally strangling each other.
On the brutal days, by the cocktail hour, I can be heard on our street, and possibly two counties over, screaming, “I give up! You can just figure it out. May the odds be ever in your favor!” and then, after the world’s longest drag on a spritzer, I’ll realize the error of my ways only to find them engaged in tactical war games; one having commandeered the tent, mapping strategy while the other sets the rope swing as a trip wire just outside the tent entrance.
Everyone always says, “Oh, it’s just a little sibling rivalry! They love each other! That’s what kids do!” and I say, “Help me. Please. I beg of you. Also, do you know how to undo a sheet-bend knot? I found the 3-year-old tied to the recycling bucket with a note saying, Free Sister. Warning: She bites.”
Until murderous rage turns into mild like and then something hopefully resembling love, I guess they’ll just have to ride this out in specially constructed fire-retardant suits – think Iron Man with access to where the heart should go so my good intentions can sprinkle, “LOVE EACH OTHER!” fairy dust on their current tiny, grinch-like sibling admiration.
Until that magical day, I will hold out hope that a random, dual run-in with a bear won’t play out like this: