Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's fair is fair -- I think

MOOOOOOMMMM, he's touching my side of the room!!!!!
I can't tell you how many times I probably yelled that, or conversely my brother or sister screamed the phrase about me.
My mother's reaction was normally pretty consistent. She would pause, shake her head and give a great big old sigh. These days, and as we got a little older, we recognized that sigh as the sign that we had better do what she wanted.
The next step was likely to be something unpleasant.
But my young self wasn't quite so smart. I got the unpleasant consequences many times before I even started to learn. I never understood how she could be so unfair and not always side with me.
I mean, my brother, or sister, was the one who had done it. They deserved what they got.
Now as the parent of two little screamers, I understand a little better that you can't just take the side of one or the other.
Since you can't be in all places at once, you never know what really happened.
Little sister likes to run from one room to the other right yelling, "Big sister pinched me?"
The problem, Big sister is at school.
Big sister will sometimes sit in her room and scream at the top of her lungs until we come running only to discover that Little sister is sitting on the floor looking at her wrong.
It doesn't pay to overreact.
I just sigh, shake my head and hope I don't have to resort to anything unpleasant to get them to mind. (By unpleasant I mean time outs of course. Nothing severe. It's just that it all makes my blood pressure rise.)