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The Sibling War Zone

Parenthood sucks. It is a big swindle and when I signed up, I did not get to read the small print. Remember the thrill one got when the infant in the tummy kicked for the first time? Well, that was the beginning, these sweet little people come into your world, make you fall totally in love with them and then, wham!!! They kick serious ass.

The Sibling War Zone - Sibling Rivalries - Parenthood - Sibling Fight

Of course, they have a lot of practice… they’ve been feuding against each other all their lives. We parents don’t stand a chance… we got married and drifted away from our siblings and the war zone… we are flabby, out of shape and out of practice. Then they want us to be judge and hand out punishments to the other sibling – the one that won the fight! When they grow up – they complain, “You were partial to that one, not to me.” Idiots! All a right thinking parent does is to ensure that you both did not kill each other while in my care!

When I was a child, fights with my brother were constant. We kicked, we teased, we shoved, we called each other names, and we rolled over and over on the ground punching each other as hard as we could. It is a wonder that we did not kill each other. Many of our fights started in our backyard. In my excitement to win, my yelling grew so loud that the whole neighbourhood knew we were slugging it out. My mother wanted me to be a lady – poor thing, and she was so embarrassed.

When Kid#2 arrived, Kid#1 was ecstatic. He wanted a puppy… but Kid#2 would do. He was the loving, doting elder brother, but could be a bully. Kid#2 knew instinctively that he could not match in size or strength so he became sly and whiney. One day, (when they were 9 and 1 years old respectively) Kid#1 came back from his Tae-Kwon-Do practice totally exhausted and passed out on the couch. Kid#2 crawled up to him and started punching him and trying to pull his hair, all the while gurgling and laughing away. He was in infant heaven. Yeah baby… revenge is sweet. 🙂

Ex left when Kid#2 was two years old. Kid #1 elected himself to be the Daddy figure and Kid #2’s total attitude was “WTF, he ain’t my Daddy and I am not going to listen to him” which led to total bloodshed. I never understood what the entire freak-out was about until recently when I saw similar dramas taking place between our two dogs. By the way, the similarities between doggie sibling rivalries and young boy sibling rivalries can really be striking. I guess it stands to reason because we all, humans and dogs alike, want the same things—attention, praise, affection, tasty food… and we all get a little out of sorts when we don’t get these things or when we feel someone else is getting more than their fair share.

Kid#1 tried to persuade me to drop Kid#2 on the floor when he was 10 days old – just to see what would happen. For one whole year, anything that broke in the house was because “Baby did it” even though junior could not walk. Calling each other uselessloser and a waste of space was kind of normal for them, and polite. The thing is that I got to be the good guy… until now. Now they gang up against me, and I don’t even have any one to deflect the punches.

Kid#2 : (Watching me play Spider Solitaire) Mom, you’re pretty good at this aren’t you?

Kid#1 : Yeah, she has all the time in the world at office – you know to look pretty and play Spider Solitaire, so plenty of practice

Kid#2 : (In pretend impressed tone) Nah, don’t you know our Mom is a blogger too

Kid#1 : What do you call it – working hard or hardly working?

Yeah whatever… why don’t you guys go try to kill each other… and let me play or blog?

Ritu Lalit is the author of two novels, A Bowlful of Butterflies published by Rupa & Co., and Hilawi published by Popular Prakashan. She is a single parent and blogs at