COVID-19 · post-op life · siblings · slice of life

The Things Siblings Say to Each Other

I walked downstairs around 5:45 p.m. and noticed my children building a structure out of Magnatiles together. I announced, “I’ll be in the great room, icing my ankle, if either of you need me.” Neither of them looked up.

Alrighty then, I thought. Carry on.

I grabbed an ice pack from the freeze, lowered myself onto the couch, propped up my feet, and wrapped the pack around my ankle. I heard musings from the playroom of the kids talking about the hotel they were building. I felt a pang in my heart knowing we were supposed to be staying at a hotel tonight on our way to meet our cousins in the Great Smoky Mountains for our summer vacation.

My sense of regret about the vacation we’ve postposed until after there’s a vaccine was interrupted by yelling. Isabelle began to order Ari around. He must not have liked her command since he responded with “You’re not a good person!”

I gasped. Where on Earth did he come up with that? HE IS THREE! But just as I was about to holler something into the next room, Isabelle shouted at Ari to which he responded, “I don’t like your behavior.”

I giggled. Now THAT we have been known to say.

Isabelle declared she wasn’t going to play with Ari anymore. I thought about intervening, but — well — I was icing my ankle. Better to let them cool down and figure it out on their own.

By the time I finished icing my foot a little after six, the two of them were playing “farm hotel” with Little People. (NOTE: We were supposed to stay in Roanoke tonight, not at any kind of farm hotel. Therefore, they get an A for creativity!) Isabelle and Ari were getting along swimmingly… until they weren’t — again.

Next thing I knew, they made up and came into the great room to read books together while I cooked dinner. I thought they were reading alone, but when I went over to the couch to see what was happening, I discovered Isabelle’s arm around Ari as they leafed through a book on trains she borrowed for him from the library.


But ten minutes later, they complained about being hungry. Once they ate dinner, they resumed their usual silly brother-sister relationship and didn’t fight the rest of the night.

I’ll never understand sibling banter since I’m an only child. But if there’s one thing I do know, it’s that they would not be doing as well as they are during our continued efforts to stay-at-home as much as possible if it weren’t for having one another. So, yeah, sometimes they drive each other nuts because they’ve basically been each other’s only playmate for four months. However, I know they love each other immensely… so I’m not too worried.

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9 thoughts on “The Things Siblings Say to Each Other

  1. You are not alone. Mine go from lovely play sessions to intense bickering just like that. But, as you wrote here, in so grateful they have each other. I love listening to the things they talk about. Three year old language is quite impressive! You captured the sibling dynamics so well here.

  2. Love this slice because it is so true and real. I applaud your restraint, staying out of the disagreement and letting Isabelle and Ari deal with it themselves. And they did. Their bond is strengthened by their rumpuses. I know from experience!

  3. When I asked my third graders what would have made online school easier one replied, “Having a sister.” As an only child she really missed the class community. I love how you caught the snippets of the good and not so good.

  4. This is exactly our house! My two are so glad to have each other, but also mad at each other all the time. It’s hard to be stuck with each other, but at least they have each other. I think it’s teaching them a lot about getting along with people in general.

  5. Conflict, like change, is an inevitable part of life. It might be the best to learn the strategies and language to solve conflict in a loving environment. You know your kids will be fine because you show the way and give them space to grow, and if needed talk things through.

  6. Too cute! I have a younger brother, and boy could we fight! But then somehow we made peace and played together. You are lucky they didn’t come to you to solve their problems, and you got to finish icing your ankle!

  7. I like to think that siblings are a place for them to practice understanding and reasonable conflict. I know as an only conflict was always a challenge for me.

  8. I think it’s wonderful they solve their problems and move on….during this era of social distancing,they BOTH know they have to work it out!

  9. I read this last week but got interrupted multiple times by squabbles, so I didn’t comment. Had to laugh. This week I remembered that I hadn’t commented because one of my kids started scolding the other by saying, “Actually…” Classic me. Basically, what I’m trying to say, is that this little slice captures everyday sibling stuff perfectly.

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