Sibling rivalry....ever had it? Ever seen it? I have too. This morning my four year old daughter, Rebekah was blaming her 2 year old brother, Sam, on her foot hurting. She was repeating over and over again (in her brain scrambling, torcherous way) "Mom! Sam hurt my foot". My "sorry about that" were not cutting it in her book. She wanted justice...she wanted payback...she wanted pain. After the 15th time (I am very resilient...at least I think I am) of her nagging me about Sam and her foot being hurt, I said to her, "Rebekah, what do you want to do to him? spank him?" Okay, I think this is going to strike some sort of compassion cord with her and she would cry out..."Oh, no mommy that would be so sad....I love my brother!". No. Only in my imagination. So instead of my "imagined reply" she says, " YES!". I clarify..."Do you really want me to spank Sam for that?" her reply,"YES!". Then I said (still hopeful) ..."But it would hurt Sam." She replies, "No it won't!". I said, "Yes, it will". Then she says with a shrug of her shoulders, "JUST CHECK!". Just check? ....what kind of cruel sister is this? I had to supress the laugh in my throat.
This actually brought back a memory that I have of my own childhood. I remember my brother doing something bad to us...(probably the usual punch on the arm, or stand on my face, or spit or whatever he could do to hurt me (the most aggrivating sister on the planet...I don't blame you Gary...I just feel sorry for ya)) So, my mom said to me and my other brother David...."Go get the belt!". We salivated at the idea of my brother being spanked by the belt and getting all that was coming to him. I remember being excited. I ran down the stairs were my Dad's belts were kept and looking at them I debated on whether I should bring up the belt with metal buckles spaced at every two inches..or the one without the buckles. I imagined the suffering that my brother would finally get if my Mom layed on him with the metal torcher belt. I grabbed it! (There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity for justice!) I handed the belt to my Mom. She looks at the belt. She looks into me and my brother David's eyes, as they were filled with anticipation and excitement for what that belt would symbolize!. She looked in my brother Gary's eyes...full of fear and tear full eyes for what was to come. Then turning to us, the punishers, she slowly asks, "So, you want me to belt Gary with this belt?" We nodded with smiles, "Yes! Yes!"... "You would have me use this on his bum?" ... "Yes, Yes!". Then, my mom does the unexpected...she turns on us! "How mean you kids are that you would want your brother to feel this belt...I will belt both of you for wanting him to be hurt!". And she belted all three of us. Gary for being bad, me and David for being cruel. So, really there is no way around justice and punishment. I guess mercy should really be our only route. Now, how do we teach this to our children? I am working on it...just as you are. I will appreciate it more when they are playing with out fighting and giggling over their usual poop, pee and bum jokes. Lot better than fights. Hang in there Moms!----Ana.