I so enjoy navigating the battles that break out between my son and daughter. (Said no parent, ever.) My children love to fight about the most ridiculous things and I can’t pre-empt the battles. It’s not like I can guess that that rogue toy—the one that’s been missing since forever—will become THE most important thing in the world when it’s discovered. Instead of getting frustrated, let’s commiserate about some of the most ridiculous things children seem to regularly fight about.
Found item no one cared about in the first place
This is one of my favourite battles. Like, the time my son found a stick from a long-lost/long since thrown out game. It was a stick. But my daughter insisted it was hers. My son insisted ‘finders keepers.’ We have some form of this battle all the time. Some random something or other is located in some long lost space and it is suddenly THE most important thing in the world to both of them. I swear, they’d fight over a found lint ball if they actually tidied and found one.
Someone got something the other didn’t
It amazes me the sense of justice and fairness kids have from such a young age. I have to make sure lunch snacks are identical (well, the fun stuff. My daughter is okay if my son gets a banana or grapes and she doesn’t) or else “why did she get a granola bar and I got a bag of cookies??” as if he doesn’t like the cookies. He does, it’s just that his sister got something different. The horror! And heaven forbid she gets invited to a birthday party for a friend and he doesn’t get invited to a party for one of his friends. “Why does she get a loot bag?” he’ll complain when she gets home.
Someone got slightly more than the other person
I swear, I want to buy a food scale for when I serve ice cream or dole out some other treat in the house, just to make sure they get an equal number of grams. Why is it they never care if one gets more vegetables on their plates? That’s when the need for equality seems to fall by the wayside.
Someone didn’t get the same compliment the other got
Far be it from me to ever say one child has done something particularly noteworthy without making sure I, at the same time, come up with something the other child might have done that is also noteworthy. Nothing is worse than telling my daughter I’m proud of much she helped me when I was sick if I don’t also say ‘hey son, you were nice, too.’ I mean, he was nice, but no, he didn’t bring me tea in bed and make sure my pillow was fluffed. But he did give me kisses so I’ll tell him he’s just as awesome. I wouldn’t want my daughter to get a special mention for special effort or anything.
They won’t leave each other alone
Maybe it’s just my luck, but while my kids do get along for the most part and play together nicely, they have to both be in the mood to want to be around each other, which is fair enough. In this house, though, if they aren’t both feeling it, they get insanely annoyed by the other one suggesting they’d like to hang. “I told you a million times I just want to be left alone!”
I made the mistake of asking their opinion about what they want to eat or do
It seems like a great idea, and good parenting, to ask for your kids’ input on things, doesn’t it? Yeah, great in theory. But if I ask my kids what they want, they will end up fighting about it. “I want to watch this,” “well I want to play that!” “well, then play yourself!” I’m confident that if I asked if they thought water was wet, they’d find a way to argue over that.
What is it about elevators and doors? Heaven forbid one child presses the button outside the elevator and then the one inside too. It’s like the biggest injustice. And I’ve had to totally stop handing one child the keys to open the front door. Somehow, my son will have no idea where he left his lunch bag but he’ll always know who got to open the front door last, and if I’ve forgotten and give my daughter the keys, watch out.
I don’t want to make it sound like they’re fighting 100% of the time. They’re not. But it never ceases to amaze me, the minute, insignificant crap my kids fight about on any given day. If I played my cards right, I’d always make sure there are an equal number of random sticks and lint balls to go around.