MOM...she started it....

Our house is typically a peaceful place. But every now and again, my girls fight. And then every once in a blue moon they BATTLE. We're talking punches, smacks and name calling. Apparently being called "poopie head" is the pinnacle of bad names right now, which is quite fortunate considering the bad words they've surely heard me mutter over the years.

These battles will often times will go for a day or two, peppered with periods of peace. Then, suddenly, there will be an attack, which will be a retribution for some previous offense.

For example:

Girl 1 is sitting on the sofa, reading a book when Girl 2 stealthily descends upon Girl 1 and snatches the book away.

Girl 1: Chases her sister until she's cornered and slaps her arm.

Girl 2: (in an incredulous voice) "What was THAT for?!"

Girl 1: "You took my book!"

And the bickering escalates which brings a visit from the pissed off maternal figure in the house. By the time I get there, they are both breathing heavily with their little red cheeks puffed out in indignation while beads of perspiration roll down their brows.

They both begin yelling at me at once with familiar phrases falling to the ground like shrapnel:

She started it!
Did not!
Did too!

So I take each of them by the ear (which immediately quiets them) and we begin to attempt to dissect the root of the issue. Here is a snapshot:

Last night Girl 1 entered Girl 2's room without permission, which is against house rules.

But, Girl 2 asserts that the only reason she broke that rule was to recover ownership of her favorite Barbie that Girl 1 had taken, again without permission, which is also against house rules.

And it goes on and on. Each attack is actually a retaliation for a previous offense. I try to explain to them that there are more mature ways of dealing with conflict. You don't always have to get someone back. But, acknowledge that you should not allow yourself to become a doormat, either, who is constantly pushed around by the other.

This morning I read a news story that stated Israel continued its air strikes in the Gaza strip. For years I have tried to understand this conflict with little success. I have friends on both sides of this argument and have listened to hours of impassioned descriptions of what "THEY" have unfairly and cruelly done while "WE" only want peace. I see a correlation between my daughters behavior and that of those in the Middle East.

There seems to be a lot of yelling about who did what last. I wish that the emphasis would switch to where and how the conflict will end.

After the last big fight between my girls I sat them down and said, "You are sisters. Love and protect each other. You guys are always looking for ways to make me proud and happy. Well, this is how you can honor me. Be good to each other, be thoughtful, patient and tolerant."

I would like to take both Israel and Palestine by the ear and drag them to a quiet corner of my house and tell them the same thing. After all, they are brothers. If they found a way to get along they would all be stronger. It would be a way to honor their planet, not to mention a way to ensure their future generations would have a better chance of success.

But I fear that I will have to continue to sit here in my little corner of the world and watch these two groups of human beings beat the shit out of each other. Innocent people will die every day, further incensing the other group, resulting in more attacks, more innocents dying, and so on. If they were my children I would spank them both for outrageously dangerous and bad behavior and then send them to their rooms - indefinitely.

This all leads me to wonder how Israelis and Palestinians resolve conflicts between their children. I wonder if they hate hearing "...she STARTED it..." as much as I do. I hope that they will find a way to peace. But I fear they will kill each other off. Hopefully they won't take out the rest of us on their way to this horrific but seemingly inevitable end.


Ha. Chief's kids have learned that Chief doesn't CARE who started it. Chief will finish it. Chief just wants peace and quiet.
Liz C said…
Ah, yes. The good news is that you will watch your girls reach equilibrium as they get older. As for the other conflict? Who knows....
shyloh said…
You have a beautiful peaceful mind. I love this blog. Well said dear.

CHILL out GIRLS Momma knows best!!!
Jormengrund said…
Bex, I don't know if it'll take root.

Sibling rivalry is something that just can't be controlled at times.. Heck, it's genetic!

The whole Israel and Gaza thing?

Yeah, you might have better luck converting Bin Laden to Christianity!
David said…
>>>I see a correlation between my daughters behavior and that of those in the Middle East.

Did each of the daughters claim to have their own version of God on their side?
More and more I tell my kids that I don't care about the whos or whats. They need to settle it themselves or go to their rooms.

And one of the problems in the Middle East is that the Palestinians claim not to have their own room.
Dog Breath said…
I love the quote in Zohan. "they've been fighting for 2000 years, it can't be much longer".

When they clash, make them hold hands for about five minutes, they'll hate it! Good non-violent punishment. BTW you must be in their IMMEDIATE vicinity the whole five minutes!

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