Sunday, October 19, 2008
I honestly thought I was getting the hang of this parenting thing. I was even starting to feel like I was becoming a fairly decent mom, if not a little motley. This week, however, I have encountered a whole new dimension to this childhood thing--I believe it's called "sibling rivalry."
Now, before those of you who know me start panicking thinking that I have acquired a new child on my little road trip, I'm talking about my son's relationship with his cousin. No, they are not really siblings, but they are as close as either is going to get for a little while. My nephew has just turned three, and this is the first time he and my just-turned-two year old son have been in the same place since last Christmas.
Both of these boys are adorable, precious little human beings with such generous personalities when they are by themselves, but visiting my parents this week has opened up an enormous can of worms for their developing minds--they have discovered that indeed, each is not the only grandson, and that is not setting well with either of them.
The initial confrontation went something like this:
(Both boys are strapped in their car seats, laughing and giggling, on the way to the pumpkin patch.)
Nephew: Are we going to see Papa when we get home? (Nephew excitedly asks.)
Son: (Recognizing the word "Papa") My Papa!
Nephew: (Responding in an educational manner) No, he's MY Papa.
Son: (Sensing a reaction) MYYYY Papa!
Nephew: (Whining) NANA! He said he's his Papa, but he's MYYYYYYY Papa!
Son: (Loving the reaction) MYYYYYYYYYYYY Papa!
Nephew: Waaaahhh! He's MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Papa!!!!!
Son: (Loud squeal, slaps at nephew)
Nephew: Waaaaahhhhh! He hit me!!!
Son: (Pointing to nephew innocently) Mommy, [He's] crying!!!
This little exchange continued for the rest of the journey with various other things substituted for "Papa"--they contested the possession of Nana, both Mommies, apples, pumpkins, and of course, the moon (no kidding). There have been lots of laughs and fun times this week, but those have been accompanied by quite a few slaps and cries as well. They may have a confrontation and then be begging to take a bath together five minutes later, so it's been a little confusing.
I remember that as a little girl my sister and I fought quite a bit, and at least we don't really walk around slapping each other now, so surely they will grow out of this. For the moment, though, it's been quite a struggle to keep up with their mood swings. Honestly, sometimes it's hard to keep a straight face, too (especially during the "moon" disagreement). I guess it's just something to put in the "For Future Family Reunions" conversation file for use when they are in high school and are in need of some embarrassing childhood stories.