No more Ketchup

Hi,

I figured it was time to write a blog. It’s been a while and lately it seems I have enough material to work with. Between the kids dropping F-bombs, smacking, and talking non-stop about poop, bums and farts, I could write a book. 

I have 3 siblings, two older sisters and a younger brother.  The only one I remember fighting with is my brother. He’s 5 years younger than me and I remember when he was a baby, I’d sit outside his bedroom door and rock back and forth while he cried, fighting sleep. I also remember being excited to help him print his name. Turns out I had no patience and the first time he didn’t get it right, I deemed him a lost cause and left that task for his teachers. When I was a teenager he drove me nuts. We’d be sitting at the kitchen table and his breathing would bother me. True story (sorry bro if you’re reading this). As I grew older, we fought less and got closer. I’m hoping my kids have the same fate.

My boys started in on the fighting much earlier than my brother and I. They go from one extreme to the other in 10 seconds flat. They could be sitting quietly on the couch side by side, or playing Mario and Luigi, having a blast, and 10 seconds later one of them must turn into Bowzer as the laughs and smiles turn to screams and slaps.   

They will fight over everything, from where they sit at the kitchen table to who pees faster when they play ‘swords’.  They fight over their identical placemats. It doesn’t help that Aiden likes to act like Camryn’s parent and scold him when he thinks he’s doing something wrong. Just recently, I had put Camryn’s ketchup on his plate and he wanted more. Not a big deal (or so I thought) but Aiden didn’t feel Camryn needed more as he hadn’t used what was on his plate. Valid point, but unlike Aiden I have learned to pick my battles so I put my hands on the ketchup bottle, ready to squeeze. Aiden yelled NO, so Camryn started to cry, begging for the ketchup. Aiden yelled “YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME!’. Then he started to cry too. I was dumbfounded. What the F*** was going on? Why in the world did Aiden care that Camryn wanted more ketchup? If I didn’t care, he sure as hell shouldn’t! It’s not like he was paying for it out of his birthday money or something!

Speaking of which, do you know the first thing Aiden bought out of his birthday money? Something for his brother. He bought Camryn a fidget spinner. It didn’t matter that he already had one (apparently you can’t have too many fidget spinners but you can have too much ketchup), it’s what he wanted so it’s what Aiden bought him. I was so proud of him, I almost cried in Walmart (wouldn’t be the first time). Same as when we visit a doctor’s office, Aiden will take a sticker for his brother (and vice versa).  They miss each other when they are apart. Even after a recent screaming match where Aiden told Camryn he needed a break from him, 5 minutes later in the car (just the two of us) he looks over at Camryn’s empty car seat and says “I wish Camryn was here’.  If we see a toy or a movie preview, one will instantly think about the other. So the love, it’s there. I know it.

In addition to trying to parent, Aiden also tattles. Camryn can’t fart and Aiden is telling me. If Camryn says a bad word or is rude (which is common lately since he blossomed early and has the 4 year old attitude at 3), Aiden tells me, most likely just so he can repeat it. One claims the other smacked, the other denies it. It’s never ending. Until they are asleep of course when they look so sweet and innocent that you almost doubt that all the fights from that day even happened.

But I know they happened. I know it’s real. But sometimes I feel like the only mother livin’ the dream of moonlighting as a referee. Is it because I have two boys? Is it because they are close in age? Is it because I’m falling down on the job and have no control? I know it’s not, but sometimes it feels that way.

I know Facebook is not the real world; people post their best on Facebook (except for me apparently seeing as I recently posted a pic of my beautiful smiling boys and warned not to buy into the smiles as I wanted to sell my kids on kijiji for $20 that day). The truth is, you post the smiley pics because it’s easier. It’s easier to show people the happy, and it’s easier to take those pics. Seriously, when my kids are in the midst of a screaming match and fist fight, I can’t ask them to pause while I grab the camera. “Hang on a second Camryn, hit your brother again so I can capture the full effect of the blow to his face’. That may not go over well and let’s be honest, it probably wouldn’t be received well by most people. I also know I’d get a few ‘likes’ (you know who you are. Haha). So we wipe away the tears and when the fight is over, we smile and take a pic because that’s what we want people to see. That’s what we want to remember and take away from the day. That’s what matters most.

The rest, the non-smiles, is like ketchup. You know you’ll have some, you just don’t want too much as it can spoil everything.

Sonya

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