Thursday, February 26, 2009

Siblings. I Don't Get Them.

I am an only child.

That means a bunch of things, but mostly it means that I'm mystified by the intense bond that exists between Lucy and Edie. I am also pleased and envious and in awe, but mostly, I'm just mystified.

This all started with one pink baby stroller. The kind you can buy for $8.99 at most toy stores and you wheel your doll around in it. We had one. It was originally Lucy's but as Edie got older, she used it more and more. Most of the time they just shared it. Edie is baby doll obsessed and she wanted her own, so for Valentine's Day I got her a little pink one, with pink and white daisies. It was nice.

Now, there were two. Two girls. Two strollers. It was perfect. One stroller for each girl. The only child in me understood this. It was fairness of the highest order.

No child was left behind.

This is where being an only child is a liability. I thought everything was cool.

But the new stroller had apparently prettier designs and better flowers, more posey than daisy, really, and it was clean and unblemished by dirt and stains and years of use. This made all the difference because now, Lucy who immediately realized she was going to get the crap daisy stroller, all of a sudden developed an obsession with having her own new, clean, unblemished posey stroller.

This is funny because two minutes before she didn't give a rats ass about strollers or pushing them around. Go figure.

So, Lucy asked me to buy her a new one and I did because I feared that healthy psychological developments were riding on this, and I am a stupid only child, and so I have no sense of what is right or wrong in this situation. But of course, they didn't have the exact one that I bought Edie and so I think, well, one pink stroller is as good as another pink stroller.

Even as I write this I realize I am an idiot.

And it turns out, Lucy was fine with the new pink stroller. Very fine, in fact. It was new and fresh and unsullied by previous doll play. It was perfect. It had pink and blue pansies. She was ecstatic.

All hail the mighty mother who solves conflict and disputes at every turn...But wait, Edie's lip is quivering. She's crying. Crap.

See, here's where I start to realize that Edie was crying because she now thought her new stroller had become the old crap stroller and Lucy's new one was the better one. And then, Lucy started crying because she was afraid I would take away her new pink and blue pansy stroller and give it to Edie because blue is Edie's favorite color and this means in sibling world that Edie has dibs on all blue, blueish or blue-related items.

So, everyone was crying. And clutching the stroller with the blue and pink pansies.

In case you aren't keeping up - I have two kids, both crying and three strollers, three pink, two brand new and perfectly clean, one with pink posies, one with pink daisies and another with pink and blue pansies.

And both the girls are tearfully looking to me for some kind of solution.

But I've got nothin'. Because I don't get this. I am an only child. This was my childhood - I got stuff. I liked it. I never had to share. I never had to be territorial over my stuff. It was all mine. This, of course, made my adulthood jarring and difficult, but, whatever. None of it can help me now.

And it's not like this only happens once in awhile - I had the exact same thing happen last week only that time it was a couple of Barbie battery-operated tooth brushes, one with a big "B' on the side that was crap and the other with flowers on the side that was God's gift to dentistry. And the Duane Reade in our neighborhood only had ones with B's, so I spent an entire afternoon trolling the stores for the elusive toothbrush and dragging behind me two very worried looking children.

Seriously, somebody s'plain it to me.

xo YM

PS: Yes, my children are wearing underpants as hats.



ntsc said...

At least they are wearing them.

And thanks for sticking up for me.

The Yummy Mummy said...

That chick was a bitch. I was way more diplomatic than I wanted to be.

She had free range stuck up her ass...Anyways, you rock.

Cali said...

i understand your dillemna... i was at least 8 years older than any of my siblings.
it has been my experience with my own children that if i take something away from them that they have been fighting over and put it away for a while, then i can take it out again a couple days later, they don't fight over it anymore because one of them has lost interest. might work for you...

SaintTigerlily said...

I think a well timed reading of The Sneetches might be in order.

Or, like, a healthy purchase of stock in a toy stroller company.

The way my father and stepmother solve it is to buy all three girls the exact same thing every time. To hell with developing different personalities or styles, because once? I bought them these cookies from Williams Sonoma for Easter that were three eggs; one blue, one pink and one yellow, with their names written on in pretty white icing. I worried that they wouldn't like the ones their names would be on but figured they would deal with it. HAHAHA. Not only did the names mean nothing, they just alternated between wanting the same one as the other ones wanted at any given time. They either all wanted the blue one, or all the pink, or all the yellow.


Such A Bad Experience Never Again.

melissa said...

PS: Yes, my children are wearing underpants as hats.

I've known you far too long now for that to surprise me.

As for the girlies... well, my sister and I were like that rarely. So I got nuthin for ya. Except my sympathies haha.

PJ said...

My sister and I had so much trouble being jealous of each other that my parents either got us the same thing at the same time (even on each other's birthdays) or got us something joint (e.g. a log cabin playhouse). Even then it still had its moments of misery - I had waited for years for a real bike, and they got my two year younger sister one at the same time so that (a) she would not be jealous (b) we could ride together. But somehow I still felt had.

We still have a love/hate relationship - she is 60 and I am 62. My four year older sister and I did not have the same problems, nor the same closeness.

The Yummy Mummy said...

PJ -

Wow! It is amazing to hear from a woman who has lived a few years as a sister!

You know, I keep trying to tell Lucy and Edie that they are going to be the best friends they'll ever have. That they will have to be there for each other throughout life. That they have to take care of each other...and weirdly enough, they are phenomenally close, loving caring and giving to each other.

Sometimes Edie will pull Lucy's hair or something and I'll take away her "Max and Ruby" and Lucy will say, "No Mommy, don't do that. It's okay that she pulled my hair. I love Edie."

They are connected in ways that I can't even fathom. In the good and the bad. PJ - thanks for your perspective. It was lovely to read!


ntsc said...

I've two brothers and can't stand either one of them.

One is simply obnoxious and the other is a very bad lawyer who fouled up my son's adoption by my wife. He also cost my best friend more than $10,000 because he forgot to file something in time.

On a good note, I finally posted again. Major computer problems this week.

rita said...

I'm delighted to learn that I'm not the only Sr. who reads your posts, even though I still have a few years on PJ.
I love reading about Lucy & Edie. It's impossible to take a bad picture of them.
The fact that they are so close is a real tribute to the excellent parenting that you and David provide.

Minka's Studio said...

I think it's wonderful that you tell the girls about being friends for life. Friends for life is a possiblity especially if your parents suggest it to you at a young age and repeatedly remind you. I think the personalities we are born with play a role in how this all plays out.