Summer togetherness has come with a price. There has been a fair share of arguing, hitting, and screaming. (As a long aside, I thought that since my kids were 5 1/2 years apart that there would be less bickering. And yes, there has been less bickering than with some siblings, but in the last year, it's on. The eldest is a tween and knows everything -- more than her parents and certainly more than her little brother. The little brother, now 6, is tired of being bossed around, and knows quite a bit himself, so clashes are commonplace.)
Some of this is allayed by massive amounts of electric entertainment via the computer, the Wii, and/or the TV, and sometimes this just intensifies the fighting.
Recently there was a real ruckus upstairs. Running in the hall, screeching, and slamming doors.
Apparently the slamming door was Amanda's, because the howl of neglect and the angry scream came from little brother Kyle.
"Kyle? Come here. What's up?" I asked, fairly calm for once.
Kyle came to me, weeping (still angrily), "Amanda broke my feelings."
How heartbreakingly sweet is that, I ask you?
"She wouldn't share the tape."
All this, over tape? I wondered.
For Amanda, the struggle was over territory -- her room. For Kyle, it was over being left out, being excluded, being told no.
But he's no shrinking violet. I had given him a roll of tape for whatever he needed it for, and when I came downstairs later, I saw that he was staking his irrevocable claim on it: