We all like a good fight. Admit it. We love to watch a good Facebook or Twitter battle unfold. We enjoy watching a kick ass political debate or a blood-soaked episode of Spartacus. Hell, we’ve all sat, enraptured, watching a shark best a crocodile on a nature show. We love a good fight.
Know what we don’t love?
Listening to our kids fight.
Because they fight about stupid shit.
Really, really, stupid shit.
It’s not even a physical fight. We would almost prefer a hardcore, knock down, drag out, bite-the-ear combat in the back of the car. But no, they verbally spar with the artistry of jackhammers against my temple. A simple query turns into repetitive quips back and forth, which rapidly degrades into name calling. This then morphs into repeating everything the other person says in a whiny, weird or slowly plodding voice. The back and forth mocking continues with everyone repeating each other and, therefore, themselves, until someone screams and cries that no one loves them and this is why they wish they were an only child.
At this point, every parent is starting to wish that as well.
All fights inevitably end the same way, with someone hurtling an insult that is badly delivered and borderline incomprehensible. This is when we Mommies have to shut the action down. How we do that is completely dependent upon the amount of wine and sleep we have had recently and might include the empty threat of pulling over on the side of the highway and tossing them out.
List of things my spawn have recently gotten into fights about:
– Chocolate or vanilla ice cream. (Because Armageddon will come if they order the same thing and remember, if you pick a fight, do it while mom is buying you a treat)
– If we should get a dog or a mini pig. (We will never get either, because I’m a bitch)
– Whether water is clear or crystal-colored. (Shortly followed by an apt discussion on whether or not crystal is a color)
– Is it Tuesday or Wednesday? (It’s Friday)
– Cheater! (EVERYONE cheats at grounders … everyone)
– Was it an accident? Was it really?
– The exact nature and legal enforcement of the pinkie swear. You are bound for life. Promising something three months or six years ago holds … forever. If they could have a piece of your candy last year, they get all the candy, now and forever.
– Is it chicken or pork? (One thinks both of those things come from cows so the whole fight is fucked up from the beginning)
– Stop looking at me. He’s still looking at me. Why is he giving me that look? Mom! Make him control his eyeballs!
– The loudness of chewing, talking, walking, breathing and thinking.
– The technicality of spatial relations is a hot topic. These include but are not limited to …
o Is the door closed or open?
o Am I IN your room or OUT of your room?
o If I am standing on the edge of your doorway with my hands waving into the room, am I technically in your room? (The word technically is used a lot in this fight, usually incorrectly.)
o Is this my side of the couch or your side? Mom, do we have duct tape?
o Elbows are a particularly troublesome spot; where EXACTLY do they belong? Honestly? I don’t even know anymore.
Elbow fights alone are why I drink on weeknights.
There are moments though. Moments that remind me why we had more than one. Suddenly, the world turns on its axis and they make each other laugh. Like a flash, they are back to being the other’s best friend, confidant, protector or partner in crime. You get a glimpse of that unshakable bond when they spontaneously hug or defend their sibling and you think that maybe, miraculously, you haven’t ruined them. In that instant, mothering becomes a joy.
But then it’s all over because someone has poked their elbow over the duct tape line on the couch and all hell has broken loose.
Is there an end to it? Will they grow out of this or will there be a cage match at my funeral? When these days are gone, I won’t ever think fondly about the relentless, endless, mindless fighting that goes on seemingly all day, every day. I really won’t. Don’t tell me I will.
I have to enjoy the moments of sibling contentment while they last because I know that I have only three seconds before they start fighting again.
Everyone tuck in your fucking elbows and pass Mommy the wine.