August 19, 2020

Sibling rivalry seems to be hardwired. Our sons, Seth and Dan, who are 14 months apart in age, would try to one-up the other in just about everything, from getting the middle slice of cake or pizza (which apparently was and still remains the best slice), to the fact that in 1st grade Dan’s class had gotten to unit 3.4 in their readers by the first of October, whereas Seth’s class the year before had only gotten to unit 3.3 in their readers by the same date.

Just this year I got a second coffee mug from our younger son Dan, with the following words, “Dear Mom, thank you for putting up with a messy, spoiled, bratty, child like my sibling. Your Favorite.” He is 44!

This past weekend, sibling rivalry was in full bloom between Seth’s daughters, Anne-Sophie (age 6) and Marie-Hélène (age 3), who had a vacation with Nana and Grandpa. Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast We had some very fun times, some heart-warming moments, and made many memories.

But back to sibling rivalry. Our Border Collie, Kiko, has a bin full of doggie toys, including his favorite one which Anne-Sophie gave him for Christmas last year. It is a fluffy cylinder that looks like an over-flowing tub of movie-theater popcorn, with an opening into which three smaller “popcorn ball” squeaky toys fit. Those squeaky toys are, thankfully, almost as quiet as church mice. Kiko also has a green broccoli squeaky toy which looks like something out of Veggie Tales, which has a very high pitched and annoying squeak. Both girls wanted to play with the broccoli to Kiko’s great delight and my great dismay. They verbally fought about whose turn it was, so I would set my timer for 5 minutes so they could take turns. A tub full of toys – and both girls wanted to broccoli.

At one point, Anne-Sophie had a bit of a melt-down because her turn got short-changed as it was time to eat dinner. I will admit my nerves might have been a little bit frazzled by that point, so I made the broccoli disappear until the visit was over.  She never did catch sight of it, up high on a shelf, where I placed it, perhaps subconsciously placing it right behind my Worries Jar.

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The Nana version of the 10th Commandment is, “Thou shalt not covet the broccoli when you sibling has it, nor anything else your sibling has.” Coveting is a result of a scarcity mentality, when truth be told, like Kiko’s toys, there is plenty for everyone if we just share and take turns. 

Maybe placing the broccoli by the Worries Jar was a lesson for me. ~ Anne

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