Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sibling rivalry: yeah, we've got it

Sabrina has this nasty habit of grabbing stuff right out of Max's hands. You know, just because. As he was holding a little broom last night (I am training the kids to clean the house, and next I plan to teach them roof repair), she swiped it from him. She did laps holding it, with him chasing her and finally grabbing her hair. She screamed, he screamed. Good times!

Sibling rivalry is nothing new to me: My sister and I used to go at each other. We're just 17 months apart, but we have pretty different personalities that basically boil down to, she's easygoing, I'm usually on overdrive. Come to think of it, sort of like Max and Sabrina. When we were little, we fought vehemently about stuff like who got the bigger half of anything. As teens who shared a room, we'd battle over when to turn out the lights (she'd want to crash, I'd want to stay up and read books). We're close these days, but we weren't BFF's back then.

Now I know exactly how my mother felt when my sister and I went at each other. When Max pulls Sabrina hair, because his hands get so tight from the cerebral palsy it's hard prying his fingers off, and I hurt for her. Sabrina sometimes will push Max and he'll go flying (she's got 10 pounds on him), which is always upsetting to see.

In some perverse way, though, it's a relief to me that my kids have sibling rivalry. It means that Max is cognitive enough to feel competitive with Sabrina, and to fight back when she bugs him. I know it's a normal part of childhood. And it's oddly reassuring to have "normal" in our lives.


  1. Oh my sisters and I use to go at it! I am the youngest of 12, the baby of the family and according to all of them I'm spoiled (which I'm not!).

    Granted it might suck that they fight, but as you know the fighting will one day lead to them being the bestest of friends and the person you can lean on the most.

  2. Bubba and Buster love each other and really get along well most days, but they fight too! It's usually over something silly, like what video they want to watch, or who gets to play with the ball paddle (you know, those stupid paddles with the ball and string--they love the thing, even though neither one of them can hit the ball too well...I should just get another one, and I always mean to, but I always forget when I am out!).

    Sometimes, though, they push and shove and "act up" like kids do, and while they're not too far separated in terms of their intellectual abilities and interests, at least right now at this stage in their lives, My oldest has quite a few years and pounds and muscle on his baby brother, and I have to remind him to be gentle with him because he can't walk as easily and has weakness on one side.

    Other times, though, they're sweet with each other. Sometimes I'll find them curled up in bed together having fallen asleep with a book--they look so darn cute.

  3. I'm with's small so far, but I love it. Every time Addison sees Noah sitting on my lap, she has a fit. Whatever he's playing, she wants to be right in there with him. She gets mad if I leave, but she gets REALLY mad if I leave with him and she's still at home with Daddy. I love that she "gets" that!

  4. Oh I remember those days!

    But as my brother and I got older we became very close and still are!

  5. My sister and I still go at it!!!! That's normal, right??

  6. Funny you should post this today. I'm in MD with my family. My sister and her family live in town with my folks. We're in town for Passover. My sister has a 2 year old, Maya and of course, Amelia is 3. These two started over the summer with a "cat fight" of sorts. Tonite during the Sedar -- Amelia was sitting next to my father (Zadie -- yiddish for Grandpa) and Maya decided she wanted to sit on his lap. Well, I've never seen Amelia get so upset over something like this -- but she was downright pissed that Maya had usurped her Zadie time! It was so cool. i get it. The fact that she's "there" enough to get the idea of possessive is really awesome!


Thanks for sharing!

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