Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sibling Rivalry; A Mother's Perspective

I've spent this week preparing my boys to return to school.

My birthday is Sunday, they return Monday. Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!!

Seriously. I have been counting the days. Fervently.

I know that sounds terrible, but this summer they have been bickering non-stop. They have always gotten along reasonably well; better than two brothers with strong personalities realistically should.

But this year, I suppose due to the advent of puberty, they have been sniping at each other continually and even come to blows quite a few times.

Pubescent One is taking much delight in dominating Diminutive One physically. Diminutive One, predictably, reacts with rage, but it is impotent rage. He simply cannot defeat his older, stronger brother.

Pubescent One is long and lean. He turned 13 in April and already he stands 5'6". He wears a size 11 men's shoe. He is going to be a big man. But he is a string bean, and I think that his physical blueprint is such that he will remain that way, even as he matures.

Pubescent One is his opposite in every respect, but it is most noticeable when it comes to their respective builds. Diminutive One is short, bless his heart. He has meaty thighs and a generous posterior. His upper body is both broad and thick. One day, he will be unbelievably strong and powerful; more so, I think, than his brother.

I have warned Pubescent One about this repeatedly to no avail. He continues to use his brother as a punching bag at the slightest provocation. Thirteen has brought with it a hair trigger temper and an irascibility that is both foreign and ferocious.

He is always remorseful, however. He's that kind of kid. He's always been sensitive and kind, and prone to extreme guilt because of it. Curiosuly that hasn't changed, despite the violent outbursts. But this strange testosterone haze comes over him at times, and he is helpless to control the anger that surges through him.

His brother, who has always been the more challenging child, as those of you who have been reading for any length of time, finds himself in the most novel role of "the good one". That alone makes him punchworthy as far as Pubescent One is concerned. He is being usurped. He does not like it.

Anyway...when these hormone fueled firestorms erupt, I usually feel compelled to intervene and extinguish them with streams of maternal rationale and icy disapproval.

However, lately, as Diminutive One gains size and strength, I am more inclined to let them play out however they may. Because one of these days, Diminutive One is going to kick the ever lovin shit out of Pubescent One, and honestly, I'd rather that happen sooner than later so we can put an end to this adversarial and bloody epoch in our family history.

During the last brouhaha, I took Diminutive One aside, dried his tears and said,

"Dude, would you just kick his ass already?"

Dimintive One sighed heavily.

"I'm trying Mom. I just need more testosterone. When will I get some?"

Too soon, I thought. Too soon.

"Ummmm, probably in about two years, you'll start getting some."

"That's too long! He'll be fifteen by then! He'll always be bigger than me."

"Bigger doesn't always mean stronger, babe. He'll probably always be taller than you, but you're going to have much more upper body strength."

"Does upper body strength make you punch hard?"


"Cool. I can wait then. But he better watch out."


Now you might think it's terrible that I sanction physical conflict between my boys. But boys are physical creatures, and I can no more change that that I can change the color of the sky, or the direction of the tide. It's a thing that is mired in evolutionary necessity and centuries of behavioral indoctrination.

And really, in some ways, the male method of settling confict is perhaps, more efficient than that espoused by girls.

Because boys, you see, beat the hell out of one another....and then they are friends once again. Agression relieved, honor defended and heirarchy restored, they shake hands and go back to playing nice.

Plus, it's a well known fact that bullies pick on the weak and the indefensible. Once they are shown that their victim will stand and fight, they almost always back down and slink away in search of more accomodatingly timid prey.

I grew up one of three girls, and let me tell you, I'd rather clean up a little blood than deal with the plotting and scheming and machination that takes place when one female is piqued with another.

I would much rather put salve on an actual wound, than try to soothe a wounded spirit or a heartsick soul. Because girls can hurt each other far more profoundly with words and deeds than a boy could ever hurt another boy with his fist.

It's a trend that continues into womanhood unfortunately, which is why, perhaps, I find myself reticent about forming relationships with other women.

So yes, I am anxious for a shit kicking by Diminutive One to commence. Perhaps then we will have some peace in this house.

After that we will have to tackle driving and girls, I suppose. But one thing at a time please.

(Weird how sometimes you start out to write one thing and end up writing something completely different. This post was intended to be about inflation and how much more I spent getting my boys ready for school this year.)


  • At 3:13 PM, Blogger All Things BD said…

    I love reading people who realize that boys and girls are just different, and you sometimes have treat them that way. Boys are physical. Girls are emotional. There's no getting around that.

    My husband still doesn't get it sometimes when I tell him the girls are just looking to get a hug when they come to him crying and inconsolable. He wants to FIX it, or discipline the tantrum out of them.

    Sigh. Maybe we SHOULD have tried for the boy.

  • At 4:29 PM, Blogger Daisy said…

    The beauty of blogging is that a post can be anything you want it to be, or it can take on a life of its own! Ah, brothers.

  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger Kathryn in NZ said…

    You have got it soooooo right. Your post should be mandatory reading for teachers who want boys to behave nicely in class the way the girls do.
    But who then won't/ can't see or deal with girls' methods of bullying.
    The physical description of your boys matches that of my nephews exactly! Just add on a lot more height as they are 16 & 14 respectively.

  • At 6:42 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Welcome to my world. 13 is a VERY tough age. You've read all about it on my blog. Heh. My kids are very physical too, even tho they are of both genders. Although the Boy is now 6'1 and 200 lbs while the Girl is my Diminutive One at a teeny 5'3" and maybe 120 lbs soaking wet, she's MUCH stronger than he is, and she WILL beat the crap out of him.

    I've always had a house rule, which is not to get involved in their squabbles unless there is blood, broken bones, or fire. Otherwise, they can beat the crap out of each other and get their agressions out. Ditto on tattling. I honestly DO NOT want to know unless those 3 conditions, and 'is anything destroyed or damaged' are not met.

    My brother and I, also twins, were the same way. He was very tall and skinny, I was 6" shorter but MUCH stronger. There were times when I DID draw blood. But you know what? We grew up, stopped fighting, and learned to live with each other's foibles. It can be done.

    This post is yet another example of why you should NEVER quit blogging. We need this voice to keep us all in check! :-)

  • At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh puleeze write the post about the horrendous cost of, um, everything!

    My brother is 6 1/2 years younger than me. I stopped picking on him the day he made my arm black and blue. Yep, sometimes brute strength is a good thing. I understood then and there he was a force to be reckoned with.

  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I have a brother who is two years younger than I am. I remember when we were young, I used to pick on him mercilessly, because that's what little brothers are for.

    My mother warned me. "You'd better be careful. One of these days he's going to be bigger than you."

    I scoffed and kept teasing him and hitting him. When I was about 14 I stopped growing. He didn't. I remember the day we stopped fighting. I think he was 13, I was 15. I said something to him that he didn't like...and he said, "You'd better knock it off." It was that day that I realized he could most likely beat the ever-living shit out of me. But the thing was, he knew it too. And he didn't. He knew he would have seriously hurt me. I'm still amazed at his restraint. Maybe it's because I was a girl.

  • At 8:01 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…


    And, I tell my middle daughter all the time: stop beating up on your brother --- in no time, he's going to be bigger than her and will squish her like a bug.

  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy and many happy returns of the day.

    When he was about 13 (she was about 10) some guys (older teens & men) were picking on her and some friends. Normally mild-mannered brother came to her defense in a way that shocked, pleased and I think, scared her a bit.

    Pretty typical brother / sister type squabbles (though there weren't very many of them--he usually deferred to her & she didn't "flaunt" her victories -much-) were pretty much over after than incident.

    I like that you re-assure D.O. but especially that your urge and encourage him to do what needs doing.

  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    It's been going similarly around here, too - the fighting between my two has hit an all-time high. It's actually one of the main reasons why I put Oliver in preschool this summer - I felt the kids needed a break from one another and that he, in particular, needed more stimulation and a bit of a challenge in his day.

    There came a time when Oliver was really starting to get rough with Julia, who is an old soul - very timid, and not aggressive at all. She came to me sobbing one afternoon with a welt over her eye where Oliver had bashed her with a toy. I told her to use her words and tell him not to and then a few minutes later I heard Oliver sobbing, "She HIT ME!"

    To which I said, "Can you blame her?"


    Happy Birthday to you!

  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Green-Eyed Momster said…

    Happy Birthday indeed!! I hope you celebrate as if your credit card is already paid off!! I'm sorry I didn't get a gift off to you in the mail, so buy yourself some shoes, a new outfit and some girly makeup that you can't live without and then get a tattoo!! Please post pictures of all your goodies too!! :) Hugs and love, T

  • At 7:15 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    Happiest of birthdays BA, even if belated. And even happier first-day-of-freedom after the summer!!!!!

  • At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My big girls (10 & 11) came to blows not 30 min ago and I sat hear and listened to it not moving to intervene or help.

    They have been at each others throats for a week and I just knew it was coming. 10 has picked on 11 all.summer.long with horrible words. Not matter what we say or threaten she does not stop nor did 11 stand up for herself until today.

    Maybe today will be a turning point in their relationship not holding my breath but desparately hoping!

    Happy Belated B-Day!

  • At 3:35 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Happy Belated birthday!

    I'm so glad (and the content of this post is one reason) that I had boys.

    I hope they duke it out soon!


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