They get on each other’s nerves. She gets into his personal space (deliberately or otherwise) and he shrieks, “AHHHH!” and pushes her away. I imagine that if he could speak, he’d have some choice words for her. When he gets tired, his tendency to bite rears its ugly head and he goes for her ankles, because she likes sitting on the couch with her feet up. I can tell you from experience that his eight-and-a-half teeth can leave some indelible marks. She asks, “Ares, can I have that?” and grabs a toy out of his hands without waiting for his answer. He’s like chopped liver. He sees that her head’s right next to him and takes that as an invitation to grab her glasses, because obviously something protrouding from your face is just screaming to be yanked off. And so it goes.

This morning, before I’d even peeled my heavy eyelids open, they were already at it. He wanted the book about London that she was reading. She sternly snapped no, and then started howling at him as he turned his attention to opening drawers instead. There’s only so much ignoring and trying to sleep you can do, when there’s all this drama and potential hand-to-hand combat happening right beside you. I had no choice but to get out of bed, much to my displeasure. And they just went on and on and on like this for the next two hours, until Lucas and I were threatening to douse Raspberry with an unhealthy dose of Rescue Remedy and we were beyond ready to put them on the curb with a “for sale” sign (except no one really does things like that here with their inanimate objects).

They’re not usually this bad. Like all things, the sibling rivalry has ebbs and flows. The first few times it happened, I was just plain confused. There’s a six year gap between them. How… why in the world are they fighting?! If there was just two or three years between them, it’d be completely understandable, even expected, that they were butting heads. But seriously, six years! “You don’t even have the same interests,” I thought to myself (except that now, they actually do), thinking that the root of siblings fighting lay in both kids wanting the same things. But of course, I’m just completely naive and it’s more complex than that. They drive each other batty, just because.

They have occasional sweet moments when they play together. Like when we were at the garden at British Library and they looked at ants together. Or yesterday during Ares’ bath, when Ares was [mostly] pretending to drink the surprisingly particle-ridden bathwater and she would gleefully yelp, “Don’t drink the water!” and he’d laugh uncontrollably. Often, Ares will grab a chapter or adult book and plant himself right next to Raspberry as she reads on the couch, personal space be damned (he’s okay with shrinking the size of his personal space when he’s the one controlling it). It’s cute when they get along and when Raspberry’s not vocalizing her wishes to get rid of Ares (the suggestion last week was to “put Ares in a baby-only zone and someone else can take care of him” and then it escalated into suggesting murder — true story).

Please let me wake up tomorrow morning with pleasant kids, or at least tolerable ones. Let’s hope they got all that squabbling and bickering out of their system today (seriously, after going at it all morning, they’d better be done with it). If it continues, I think I’m just going to make myself some hot chocolate and put some headphones on and direct my attention to the black hole that is the Internet. It’s better than having my head explode.


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