Sibling Killvalry

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.

The power of peas compels you!

The power of peas compels you!

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.

Oh look, a sweet embrace.

Oh look, a sweet embrace.

Oh nevermind, it was just a vicious headlock. Proceed, young offspring.

Oh nevermind, it was just a vicious headlock. Proceed, young offspring.

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:


  1. This is so timely for me. I’m not someone who gets excited for school to start. However, this year, if Sept. 9 doesn’t hurry up, I can’t guarantee that both my 7 and 9 year old will make it. They are at each other every single second of the day. It’s exhausting. But, heaven forbid I say “Maybe we shouldn’t have a sleepover tonight.” Then it’s as if I’m ripping apart BFF’s, never to see each other again

    • You are a better woman than I. I have given up and I have the stocked wine rack to prove it. They will either learn to love each other through something resembling Stockholm Syndrome or when they are in the hospital in tandem beds with injuries they gave each other with nothing else to do except work it out. Here’s to a time warp to September for us both, Amy! <3

  2. There was one fateful day my Mom finally gave up and walked out of the room with, “You know what? Fight it out. I’m, taking a bath.” It got so loud Dad actually go out of his recliner!
    I’d like to say WE learned our lesson, but it was more like SHE learned never to try that approach again.
    The good news is that was 35 years ago and we haven’t intentionally tried to kill each other in…months!
    Thanks for the laughs!

    • Knowing that there is a period in time in the distant future when we’ll go months without an attempted murder makes me giddy. They are in the classic abusive relationship except noone is buying flowers or promising it will never happen again. Good times.

  3. LOL’d at “The power of peas compels you.” I find The Exorcist has much to teach me as the mother of a three-year-old. Thanks for reminding me why I’m sticking to just the one….however, maybe it’d be better for her to have someone else to strangle besides me….food for thought.

    • I think the best bet is to seek entry into the witness protection program. Sometimes, it’s our only hope of survival.

  4. My two boys are threatening to be the same. And, to think it’s the younger one who loves instigating a lot of the fights!! 🙁

    • It’s my younger one that has the fighting edge as well. I think she knows that in order to compensate for her size, she must excel at annoying him to near death.

  5. This is right on time for me too. Yesterday I gave up, figuring if one of them kills the other one once and for all then it will finally be quiet around here. I tried very hard not to root for either one in particular. Because I’m a good mother.

    • That’s why it’s important to whisper to both, “You’re my favorite!” so that the loser has love as a consolation prize and the winner thinks they owe their win to your love. Everybody wins.

  6. Well this is unfortunate. For you. It’ll make the kids stronger and their bond everlasting…when they’re about 30. Until then, good luck with your residential Hunger Games. 😉

  7. “May the odds be ever in your favor” can pretty much be applied to anything. Well done, Suzanne Collins.

  8. “Have more than one,” they said. “They’ll play together. It’s so much easier,” they said.


  9. You are the best wordsmith-er ever. You can write a sentence like no other and I want to know how you do it. Aside from that, yes to all of this, I remember being pregnant and vowing to raise children that just love each other so much they would never dream of fighting. Now I spend my days saying “no one say anything to anyone, not even yourself.” Peace, love and harmony.

  10. Oh dear. I thought having two close together was a good thing, but this post put the fear of God in me. My son (almost 24 months) and my DD (in utero; due 10/5) will be 25 months apart…is THIS what I have to look forward to????

Speak Your Mind