I knew when we decided to have a second child that we’d one day deal with sibling rivalry. I knew the day would come when I’d have to be sure to cut things EXACTLY in half and make sure each child got an even number of marshmallows in their hot cocoa. I just didn’t expect that day to come so soon.
This morning Princess and Caveman got in a fight over who could sit beside me on the sofa. Flattering as that may sound, at 7 a.m., it’s more headache than heartwarming. “No! My Mommy!” yells Caveman, pushing Princess, who is trying to climb up my head, to the side.
“Me, too!” is a constant refrain around here. “May I please have an apple?” “Me, too! Me, too!” “Princess, time for school!” “I go too! Me, too!” I had Caveman a granola bar, and even if it’s not a kind she likes, Princess demands, “WHAT is Caveman eating?!?” as if she’s completely offended I did not automatically get one for her as well.
This is not just limited to sibling rivalry. If I sit down and start to eat, it doesn’t matter what it is. Soon I’ll hear, “What dat you eating?” which is always followed by a coy, “I have it?” I remember my mother saying, “I could be eating DIRT, and you girls would want some of it.” Yes, mom, we would. It’s just how kids are—always on the lookout for something new to try. Unless, of course, you WANT them to try it, in which case “I don’t like dat.”
It’s also not just what I’m eating. It’s whatever I’m doing. If I’m reading a book (gasp, it happens now and again), Caveman is in my lap with a Batman book: “Read dis book, Mommy?” On the rare occasions that I put on make-up, Princess is there hinting that she’d “love it” if she could wear some lipstick. If I walk toward the door with my keys, “I go, too!” is sure to be shouted. I swear, I could be going to a pap smear and Caveman would yell, “I go pap smear, too!” If only you could go in my place, son, if only you could go in my place.
Part of me thinks it’s funny. Caveman has suddenly discovered that he is his own person, and he is bound and determined to make his presence known (not that there was any danger of anyone overlooking him before). Princess, used to bossing around a mostly non-verbal brother, is facing a new challenge (and is discovering that Caveman can and will rat her out). And let’s face it—in a few years, they’ll be fighting over who HAS to sit near me on the sofa. So I’m trying to enjoy this while it lasts, because I’m sure my cool factor will decrease dramatically as they get older.
Until that day, I’ll cut the sandwich in two very even halves. I’ll count out the raisins and make sure everyone has the same number of carrots. And I’ll sit in the middle of the sofa, with one kid on each side, happy to be surrounded by such sweet children. Me, too, indeed.
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