It was never in question that we would have more than one child. Both Hubby and I have siblings. We are, in fact, both the eldest of our siblings. So when Pinky came along we knew we would one day have a brother or sister for her, and for us. Naively there was a lot I had forgotten about having siblings when I was young, nothing dramatic but things that no doubt drove my mother mad and are now driving me mad.
People often pass comment to me that the relationship of sisters, whilst precious, can be volatile. I can’t truly comment, I only have brothers, but to be honest I think they are talking utter rubbish. It’s possible these comments come as a well meaning nugget of sympathy that its normal for them to argue occasionally, or it’s an insight into the relationship they had with their sisters. In my opinion all siblings are likely to fight, argue and sulk with each other whatever the combination of gender. Sadly, this doesn’t stop it driving me to despair some days.
I am going to update my ‘Mummy Job Description’ to now include ‘Referee’. I understand that the toy that hasn’t been played with for 2 months suddenly looks like the best toy ever now your sister is playing with it, but your sister is playing with it so leave her alone or wait your turn. I had forgotten sharing doesn’t apply to siblings. I understand that because your older sister can go upstairs by herself you want to too. But you are only 17 months old and if you don’t want me following you, or carrying you, then you should stop prating around on the stairs. I understand if your sister has a snack/drink you want one too, but I haven’t given you the same one because you don’t like what she is having, and I will only have to pick up said snack/drink from the floor when you spit it out remembering you don’t like said snack/drink, then promptly demanding something else.
These are daily scenarios. My method for dealing with the bickering varies. Sometimes I let them fight it out between themselves (I like this method as I know it teaches them to resolve things without always needing an adult), sometimes I intervene and do the resolving for them. What I chose to do can vary from minute to minute rather than day to day as there is only so much whinging and crying I can listen to before my last nerve is hit.
Of course it’s not all bad. There was a reason we wanted a sibling for Pinky and along with the soul destroying daily fighting there are times throughout every day when they remind me why we chose what we chose and prove we made a very good decision.
In the mornings Perkys biggest, brightest smile is reserved for her big sister. When we pick Pinky up from a morning at nursery it is Perky she cuddles the hardest. If we are planning a fun day out Pinky always makes sure we are taking Perky too. She doesn’t even like going to her Grandparents on her own, not because she doesn’t love the undivided attention they give her but because she loves sharing experiences with her sister more. They love each other the most. They are already best friends as well as sisters. On holiday a little girl of similar age to Perky came over and picked up Perky’s dog toy. Pinky came straight over, sat down next to Perky, put her arm around her and took the toy back off the little girl (who really wasn’t causing any harm) and said “No, that’s ‘Perky’s’”. They look out for each other and I suspect they always will.
I hope when they are older their love and friendship continues. I hope they are each the first one they turn to for help, comfort and support. I hope that they don’t fight too much over clothes and shoes. I hope when they suffer their first heart break the other goes and buys the ice cream. I hope when one has exciting news the other celebrates the hardest.
All these things I hope but really I know I don’t need to. I know they will do all these things and more.
Having a baby was the best decision we ever made until we chose to have two.