Our children have a relationship with each other that is hard to describe.
Princess is seven years old and a total "Mother Hen" personality. She tries to take care of everyone in the house, but especially her younger brother.
Little Dude is four, and he completely looks up to his big sister and wants to do everything that she does. This includes playing with her friends when they come over and basically following her everywhere she goes.
Basically, they always want to be together. They love each other dearly, and about the only time they aren't in the same room is when they're at school or asleep.
While this sounds like an ideal relationship for a brother and sister, there's one small problem with it: they have absolutely no idea how to play together.
Princess wants to play like a seven year old big sister. She wants to run the show, and she wants to play her games. This includes dolls, playing house, or just bossing everyone around.
Little Dude, on the other hand wants to play like a four year old boy. He wants to build things out of Legos and than quickly destroy them. He wants to take his Matchbox Cars and slam them into the dolls that his sister is playing with. He also has no desire to be bossed around by someone that doesn't really have any authority over him.
This is honestly a unique problem for my wife and I.
CinC HOUSE is an only child, so any sibling interaction is new territory for her. As for me, my brother is five years younger than me. We were always just far enough apart that we never had any of the same interests. I remember fighting over the remote a lot because he wanted to watch cartoons while I wanted to watch ESPN, but that's about as far as our interaction with each other went. I love him dearly, but we never really hung out much.
Our kids, on the other hand, just can't leave each other alone.
They always want to play together, but they never want to play the same way. This is a standard conversation that you are likely to hear in our house.
Princess: "Hey brother, do you want to help me color this picture?"
Little Dude: "Sure!"
Princess: "Ok, but you only get to have the brown and black crayons, and you have to color on this side of the sheet."
Little Dude: "Sissy, can I please have the red crayon?"
Princess: "No, I can only have the red...what are you doing? I'm telling! Daddy! He's coloring on my picture!"
Me: "Didn't you ask him to?"
Princess: "Yes, but he's not doing it the way that I want him to."
I'll do my best to explain to her that he is only four and is going to color differently, and she can't make up all sorts of rules to make the game only fun for her. She'll listen patiently and then...proceed to do the exact same thing. It is amazing to see them get spitting mad at each other and then instantly start playing together again. Usually when this happens, my wife or I will start counting down from 10. Very rarely will they make it that far without yelling at each other again.
We used to ask them to go play in their own rooms for awhile. They would walk up the stairs talking about how much they hated each other and how they vowed to never play together again. Within three minutes, they would be in the same room again playing dress-up. We started asking one to play upstairs in their room while the other plays downstairs. It'll last for a few minutes before one of them is either creeping up or down the stairs to be with the other.
It's such an ironic situation because I can imagine all of the other parents out there just begging their kids to play together. On the other end of the spectrum, we're bribing them to stay apart. "You can each have a Red Vine if you just play by yourself for 10 minutes!"
It's awesome that they love each other and they want to be such a big part of the other's life. It really is cool...but sometimes I just wished they would develop a good, old-fashioned sibling hatred. Just long enough for a little peace to settle over the house.
Does anyone else have this issue?