During a regular day the sibling rivalry is kept to a minimum, due to the fact that 1 kid is in school and the other is too young to get involved yet. And by the time he is old enough to get down and dirty with his brothers 2 boys will be in school. Weekends work out because both J and I are there to separate any potential battles and keep everyone busy and out of each others hair. Plus I will admit for the most part my kids do love each other enormously and get along.
However vacations and holidays are the exception to the norm and it's those days or weeks that cause about 90% of any gray hair I've acquired. Take today for example.
Today is Veterans Day. Xavier has the day off of school and it's pouring out due to us dealing with the outskirts of Tropical Storm Ida, so I cant send them outside. It's only 10:30 and the kids are ready to kill each other. Fortunately I was super smart and invited Grandpa down for the day and we'll be heading to a Museum in a few hours. In the meantime I've been trying to keep the kids quiet and happy while J works. This is no easy task when you have 3 kids of various ages cooped up in a little town house.
Since 8:30 I have broken up a fight over a comic book Xavier was making and left on the floor and Ashe of course thought it was fair game (I tend to agree. Anything left on the floor is no mans land.) Of course it was right in front of Js office and he was on a phone call. Then I had to separate Ashe as he stalked Xavier and tried to smack him upside the head just to see his reaction. I finally pulled out paper and crayons and set the kids to working on a Happy Veterans Day card for Grandpa, who served in the Army. Then Xavier decided to make him a paper airplane gift, but one that resembled something from Star Wars. That lasted all of 15 minutes of quiet time and 30 minutes of me cleaning up bits of paper off the dining room floor.
To keep them busy I gave Xavier my camera and told him to start working on his extra curricular project, which is to take a picture that represents the theme "Beauty Is...". While he went to town taking pictures of his Pirate Ship and stuffed dog, Ashe got jealous and wanted to take pictures too. Thankfully I found the toy camera for him to play with and he shadowed Xavier around the house saying CHEESE, SAY CHEESE to anything with physical substance. Xavier of course grumbled about Ashe stepping on his feet. I count this project as a success as no cameras were broken or bashed over anyones head.
Ashe got bored and sat down to watch Dora. Then Xavier decided he wanted to watched a show after Dora was done and Ashe had wandered away, which caused screeching and mauling over the remote once Ashe realized that the tv was being taken over (despite the fact he hadn't been watching it). I pulled out the alternate tv show clause, which means one boy gets one show then the other boy gets to choose the next one. After pounding this into both boys heads (figuratively speaking although sometimes I wonder if a physical representation would work better) and getting them to agree, I escaped with a cup of coffee to the sanctuary that is the office for a moments respite.
This whole time Soren is either in my arms happily chewing on my hair or nose. Towards the end he finally passed out from either exhaustion or boredom.
I'm sitting in my office trying to catch up on emails and forums when Ashe wanders in to the office, clearly upset:
"MOMMY I WANT DOWNSTAIRS COMPUTER."
"Ok hon you can use the computer."
"NO MOMMY, XAVIER IS ON THE COMPUTER."
"I think he's watching tv isn't he?"
"YAH MOMMY HE WATCHING TV AND ON COMPUTER. I WANT COMPUTER."
"Well Xavier can have one and you can have the other. Lets go downstairs."
"MOMMY I WANT LITTLE EINSTEIN ON COMPUTER...... AND XAVIER....HE POOPED HIS PANTS!!!"
"He did not! Ashe you're making up stories about your brother."
"YEP! HE POOPED!"
"It's not nice to lie about your brother. You know he didn't poop his pants."
"UH HUH! HE DID TOO! HE POOPED!"
I walked downstairs and Xavier is happily zoned out to his tv show, computer not even turned on and no poop in sight. I glare at Ashe and tell him not to make up stories about his brother and to apologize to me and Xavier. He does, gives Xavier a hug (who then shoves him off and complains he cant see the tv) which causes another battle I wade in to dissolve. After a lecture about being nice to one another I get the computer on and set up, hand Ashe the headphones, and race to the office again to finish my now cold cup of coffee.
I'm hoping with Grandpa around today and us off to the Museum where they can race around that the rest of the day will be more harmonious. But only time will tell. And both J and I are thinking that this is only one day. And Xavier gets out for a 6 week vacation in under 2 weeks.