Diary of a Dad: Week 29 - That One's Mine!by Adam Riches
Having two boys, I always knew there’d be some bickering. Me and my sister always argued about little things growing up, but I didn’t realise that as a parent of two, you spend at least 79% of your day refereeing... unsuccessfully.
I’d say one of the key battlegrounds at the moment is who is playing with what. It feels like the big one is always wanting whatever the smaller one has and will instantly resort to brute force to stamp his authority.
It goes without saying the skirmishes rarely end peacefully and with the outcome fresh, the stalemate doesn’t last for long.
It’s incredible how quickly children learn to break the rules. Our newest challenge is our eldest trying to influence the youngest to do things that he knows will cause trouble. It’s hilarious at times but it’s also frustrating when you know the little one is being manipulated.
It makes disciplining a whole new level of difficulty. Who did what wrong? And when you actually find out, it’s too late to say anything!
We make things as fair as we can, but food is often a time of great contention. There isn’t much fighting over vegetables, but there is over higher value items like ketchup and sweet things. It sometimes adds a certain novelty to dinnertime, but it can also be a nightmare.
It’s a free for all when the lollies come out, an absolute war zone, especially if one gets a lolly before the other. My advice? Learn to open lollies simultaneously or simply don’t tell your kids lollies exist!
The flip side of the coin is when they are given something they don't like. The plate transferring is intolerable - especially when it ends up on the floor and we start the cyclical blame game. Always a right laugh, oh wait...
It can be seriously overwhelming with multiple children. Even one kid can be hard work in fairness (missing the days where I could be totally selfish and do nothing!!) The competition for attention can be a real ballbreaker.
It’s like they know when you are doing something with the other one - like a sixth sense. Even if there are rooms separating the kids they zero in on the fact they are being left out. Balancing it is an art.
We can only do what we can as parents, and if these boys make it through their childhoods without full-on scars from each others’ attacks, I’ll have done my job.