Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sibling Harmony

On Monday, I read this from one of my favorite parental columnists:

Sometimes every single thing I do feels like an act of love: putting bowls of good soup on the table, pulling the comforter tighter around a sleeping body, putting a paycheck in the bank, folding small pairs of sweatpants, sweeping grit into a dustpan, stopping to look at the stars. Last week every single thing I did felt like an act of PMS: it entered the room with me like a cloud of mustard gas, like a chain gang shackling me to a dozen versions of myself, every one of them a criminal. But today I could write the book on happiness. . .

I wished I had written that, because it fit me exactly. The week before Chloe's birthday had not been a great one around here, with lots of attitude from both the kids and their mother. We were feeding off each other, and not really enjoying each other's company.

That changed as we headed towards Chloe's birthday. Unlike Connor, who at age two was oblivious about most things, Chloe was very aware that she had a special day coming up. Connor knew it too, and was surprisingly agreeable about the whole thing. He wanted Chloe to be happy, and that made me happy, and soon we were having a big lovefest.

It started Friday, when I took ice cream to Chloe's class for an early celebration. Chloe's teachers told me she was so excited that she'd actually had trouble settling down for her nap. She couldn't wait for her mom and brother to get there. She made sure we sat on either side of her and gave us both lots of hugs.

Then we went to the park, where Connor let Chloe lead him around by the nose. He played where she said to play, climbing and sliding with his sister and ignoring the swings he wanted to get on so badly. I have never seen him be that patient with her- it was probably the best present she got this year. It was a present for me too!

Since then, they have gotten along remarkably well. Usually one of them begs for sibling attention while the other ignores the begging, but not this week. They've watched Chloe's favorite show together and played Connor's favorite games together. They've run around outside while the parents watch from a window. And boy have they sung and danced together- my favorite story is that they spent an entire ride home from school cracking each other up with this song:

Their good will has been extended to their parents, too. They haven't whined about who is sitting where, or which parent is bathing which kid, and they've even been somewhat willing to eat the food I put on their plates.

It has been an amazing week, one that I doubt will be repeated very often in their lives. I'm glad I have these memories to hold on to, because surely by 9:30 am tomorrow, when we're all home together for the day, the spell will be broken. They'll be fighting over some toy, and whether to watch Dora or Spongebob, and I'll be thinking about having my tubes tied. And I'll be glad I wrote this down, because otherwise I might not believe it actually happened.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Really good post.