November 22, 2010


This weekend was dramaful. Of course our weekends are mostly dramaful. On Friday afternoon, Mia began complaining that she didn't feel particularly well. Her throat reportedly hurt. We didn't have any reason to disbelieve her so we planned on a quiet Saturday. Which is exactly what we got. Beth and I traded off running errands but we mostly stayed close to home. Tales of illness disappeared only to return Sunday morning. We had another quiet day helped by raking leaves, a movie and Shrinky Dinks.

The problem with quiet days is they rarely stay quiet and are frequently punctuated by random acts of sibling violence. And then I start to feel what I believe to be the early signs of an aneurysm.

And then in the middle of this sea of insanity and drama were these little, precious oases of pure, unadulterated, unconditional love. Mia announced she wanted to withdraw to her room for a nap, then grabbed Owen's sleeve and asked him to come along. This happened twice and both times Owen looked at me as if seeking approval, received my nod and looked as though he had just won the lottery (the lottery being a date with Buzz Lightyear and Woody) and eagerly tramped up the stairs behind his sister. Mia made him a little bed on her floor. They pretended to sleep but really they sang Wheels on The Bus at top volume. Then Mia read him as many of her books as he would sit through while he ripped apart her closet.

Okay, sure, eventually they had to be pulled off each other and there was a point at which I thought someone was going to get grounded for live over a balloon, but it was nice while it lasted.

I have no brothers or sisters but Beth tells me this behavior is totally normal. They're at each others' throats within our four walls but outside, I dare anyone to pick on Owen and not get their asses kicked by Mia and her fake karate moves.

What's your relationship like with your siblings? Or are you an only child like yours truly?

Posted by Chris at November 22, 2010 7:11 AM

I am an only child, and honestly, I LOVE it. I never had to share my things or my room, which is good because I'm sort of selfish. My boyfriend has four brothers (two real, two step) so I'm going to be part of a big family, and I think I'm at the point in my life where I can enjoy that now. Sure, I hate that there won't be anybody to turn to when Mom and Dad need help or pass away, but I don't really mind taking that on by myself.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 22, 2010 7:15 AM

I love shrinky dinks.

I have a younger brother, he is 7 years younger so we were never really that close. I teased him all the time and he stole my concert t-shirts and jewelry to give to his girlfriends. (damn, wish i still had that Rick Springfield concert tee!!)

Posted by: Lisa at November 22, 2010 8:05 AM

My brother is two years younger and I remember only one squabble. It was over a card game and my mom solved it by grounding us from cards for a week.

I asked her once if I remembered right about the lack of fighting and she agreed that we just didn't do it. Wonder if something was wrong with us.

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at November 22, 2010 8:25 AM

I have two sisters extremely close in age (18 months older and I'm twin) and you know what they say "Two's company, Three's a Crowd!". There was no telling which two were going to be against which one. There were lovey-dovey moments and one hair pulling fight in which I swore I would never ever get in a fight with my older sister again!!
My son in an only child and I think he would tell you he's perfectly content.

Posted by: NancyJ at November 22, 2010 8:34 AM

I have to go and be all complicated. TECHNICALLY? I'm a middle child. However, my brother is two years older than me, and has multiple physical and mental impairments - so that while he chronologically keeps getting older, mentally? Not so much. Which means we were "NORMAL" sibs until I outgrew him and he became less like an older brother and more like a child.

My younger sister is ten years younger - so, I was like a babysitter and she was my charge. She was 7 when I left for college so I was away for a lot. However, me and my sister get along better and better as we get older. So, that's cool.

My kids are three years apart, and their interaction is much like Owen and Mia - and I didn't really have that growing up so it's neat to see.

Posted by: Sarah at November 22, 2010 8:46 AM

I have a sister who is very close to my age. We were great playmates as kids. My kids are too. I love it. It's exactly what I wanted out of kids.

Posted by: Brad at November 22, 2010 9:14 AM

I am one of 5 (two much older siblings, a twin brother, and a younger sister). Your story of Mia and Owen sounds exactly right! We loved each other fiercly and also fought like cats and dogs. This holds true even as adults (although the fighting is very rare now!). I remember one ugly fight at family vacation two years ago. I thought I was going to have to kill my brother. However, when my husband was out of town for work and I had a stomach virus and my baby was sick. My brother (glad I didn't kill him on that vacation!) was the first person at my house at 12:30am to check on me and take care of my son until my husband could get home.

Posted by: Therese at November 22, 2010 10:16 AM

When my sisters and I were young, we pretty much trying to kill one another. I ave fond memories of my big sister trying to strangle me and my twin punching me in the guts.

But now due to life and other stuff, we all live on seperate continents (Asia, Australia, America) and it totally sucks. We hate it and we miss one another so much!!

Posted by: Aurelia at November 22, 2010 11:00 AM

I'm an only child, so when people ask how my daughter gets along with my stepchildren, I shrug and say, "About as well as regular brothers and sisters...I guess."

Posted by: Brooke Habecker at November 22, 2010 12:10 PM

I'm an only, but I was raised around my cousins and uncles. If you DREAM of &^#ing with them, I will end you.

Posted by: alektra at November 22, 2010 12:28 PM

I'm an only child, too, and spent most of my childhood creating fantasy worlds in my head with brothers and sisters... In fact, I've been known to still do it even now when "real" life gets too much. I hated being an only child - my parents moved around a lot so I really spent a lot of time on my own. All my cousins are much, much older than me and/or weird and/or in some strange religious sect and/or living in Africa, so no joy there either. My ex is also an only so we were pretty determined to have at least two kids, which we do. But our younger daughter really hates being the "little sister" and neither of us is any use helping her as we have no experience of it... The girls (28 months apart in age) get on pretty well but there are many monumental fights too. I'm just glad they have each other...

Posted by: Kirsty at November 22, 2010 1:01 PM

Oldest of 4 girls. Oldest two are close in age and last 2 are close in age. Gap between me and youngest is 11 years. When I was growing up, I was blamed for everything anyone did. Two of my sisters and I are very tight, but it wasn't always the case. There were so many years between us, and I left home when they were little. We are best friends now and I love them dearly.

As kids, we were like everyone else. Siblings regularly fight and sometimes, beat each other up.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at November 22, 2010 1:02 PM

I'm the baby by 9 years. My sister is 9 years older, my brother is 11 years older. My sister and I had to share a room, and it is amazing we both survived. My brother and sister fought like cats and dogs (it was incredibly bad in their teen years - incredibly physical - and incredibly mean) and it was often over my sister's treatment of me.

Now - my brother and I are super close, and my sister and I are not.

My boys, who have a 4 year age difference, teeter totter through intense love, adoration and protection of one another to plotting one another's deaths. In 2 minutes flat. But YOU? Or another child? Don't you dare even look at the other one funny. Don't BREATHE strange around them. Because the other will be on you like white on rice. And together? They can take a grown man down.

Posted by: Mindy at November 22, 2010 1:03 PM

I have three sisters and our relationships can be totally all over the place. We are now 21, 22, 26 (almost 27) and 29. We don't have all that much in common other than our parents, and even then, our perception of said parents hasn't always been the same! Our dad is ... complicated.
But, the things that don't change - even if we're fighting, even if we haven't talked in a while, or we're having a nice dinner together without even fighting one bit! - we love each other like crazy, and if anybody messes with one...well, you know the rest. Plus, the oldest sis's husband knows martial arts. Mwahaha.
(Okay, seriously? I wish some actual serious problems could actually be fixed by an ass-kicking, because even though it's not who I am, I'm pretty non-violent...oh there are some people...!)

Posted by: Heather at November 22, 2010 2:49 PM

I have 3 sisters and two brothers (well, they are all halves but I think they look pretty whole to me) but I was an only child until I was 6. Worshipping the ground your sibling walks on one minute and then pulling their hair out the next is pretty normal. My brothers are quite a bit younger than me (aged 15 and 13) and I didn't really grow up around boys so I found their playfighting a bit difficult to understand.

Posted by: Katherine at November 22, 2010 3:59 PM

I have 2 older brothers. I want to play with them all the time and they were cool enough to let me long their space adventures, kung fu epic journey, and soccer practices in the long as mom doesn't yell at me/them for doing boys things. I'd keep my tea party and Barbie fashion show to myself when they weren't around or I'd take that over to my 2 girl cousins living next door.

We grew apart before we could get to know each other as young adults though as we all left home to study abroad around 15-16. Now I can barely get either of them to take off work to have lunch with me when I visit home for a week. I was close to my oldest brother when I was little, ganging up on the middle brother all the time. As we grew up, I'm closer to my middle brother than the oldest one. Long story. ;-)

Posted by: oakley at November 22, 2010 6:16 PM

I'm an only child, I don't get it. My husband has a little brother, he says it makes perfect sense.

My Girlies are 2 years apart. They would never ever let someone hurt their sister. When one is hurt, the other cries. We regularly have to keep them from killing each other. Go figure.

Posted by: Amanda at November 22, 2010 10:22 PM

This makes me want a sibling for my only child.
It was just me and my brother growing up and I'm the oldest. And like Mia I dared anybody or anything to touch him. Only I could do that. We are still protective of each other to this day.

Posted by: Sheena at November 23, 2010 12:15 PM