When my kids are fighting, I wonder why I ever had more than one. Though I believe that having siblings helps with learning basics like conflict resolution, sharing, and group problem solving, the path through all of those learning moments seems rocky at best.
But, thankfully, my kids aren’t constantly fighting. When they are looking out for one another, I am reminded of the real reason I had more than one child: so they would always have someone else to look out for them when I am gone.
My kids love each others’ company. Their latest invention is the “kid meeting”. One of them will go down to my son’s bedroom and beat loudly on the bass drum until all kids show up to discuss some nebulous thing beyond my comprehension as an adult. Though I have occasionally worried this might be some bizarre Lord of Flies mutiny they are planning with me as Piggy (after all, they beat out a tribal war cry to call their meetings to order), I stay completely out of their kid meetings so they can have their bonding time. Hopefully that bonding time won’t result in my actually being bound and gagged, but so far so good.
My kids already do look out for one another’s interests in other ways, too. My eleven-year-old chases down his two-year-old sister so he can read her a book while she sits on his lap. My nine-year-old took the entire month of December to make her five-year-old sister’s day by playing “Elf on the Shelf” for a mother who was too lazy to do it, and too cheap to buy an actual elf on the shelf. She would leave notes and treats for her little sister courtesy of the Lalaloopsy “elf”. On a side note, perhaps I should have given in and bought an elf on the shelf. They are slightly less creepy than a lalaloopsy. It’s the eyes. Button eyes of pure evil, I tell you.
My five-year-old saw her eleven-year-old brother in the hall at school. I happened to be there, too. She waved and called out to him. Then she told me, “I love seeing (eleven-year-old) at school. It is so fun!”
Perhaps the funniest moment of siblings looking out for one another came from my two-year-old. She has been fascinated with people going to the bathroom. Though this hasn’t yet translated into doing it herself, I have high hopes. She was in the bathroom with her five-year-old sister. Apparently, the five-year-old was having a rough time and my two-year-old recognized it. She left the bathroom, shut the door, toddled in to me and announced, “(Five-year-old) needs Miralax, Mommy.” Yes, sibling love at its finest.