“It’s not my favorite, but…” what my kids tend to say instead of whining “I haaaate this! It’s yucky!” They are great at trying new foods, but I sometimes think they set their prejudices based on what they’ve stated their favorites to be. They will be slower to admit that they actually like something that is on the other’s favorites ‘list’. They are quick to trade with each other too – Brian gives Honor all the pineapple off his Hawaiian pizza. Honor, who loves all broccoli, will trade Brian and give him his preferred pieces (the ‘trees’, not the stems). His and her foods.
Pleases and Thank you’s happen quite regularly. Without prompting. And with each other, not just adults who would more likely expect it. I like that they are usually courteous with one another. Sometimes without even noticing. I tell Honor she can have a treat, and without asking, she’ll grab one for her brother too .
Brian made a creature on Spore for Honor. A cute little ducky warrior. She loved it. She probably asks her brother for computer help more than anyone else. Brian is always eager to help her too.
Honor decorated the table the other day and made Brian a placemat with a mythological creature that she made up for him because she knows he loves them.
“Brian likes this…” or “This is Honor’s favorite.” are often heard in this house. I love it. Both are interested in each other’s reading, art work, each other’s homework, etc.
I believe that I’ve mentioned on my blog before, that I always knew that I’d love our children, and assumed they’d love each other too, but it was quite amazing to see it actually happen. Of course, I’d be lying to say that they do not argue or ever get mean with each other. They are kids and work hard to get on each other’s nerves, just like any other kids, but in general, they are very sweet to each other.
Brian will often forget that Honor is not in his grade and will expect a bit too much from her … she really is a super (scary) smart girl (like her brother – yes, I am biased, but I believe it), but unless you’ve studied and learned something, you do not necessarily know the facts. Sometimes Brian goes the other way though, and tries to do too much to help his sister – which drives Miss Independence batty. He will also sometimes forget that she’s her own person, not his pet little sister…or if she is, he needs to remember that she’s a cat… she won’t always jump through his hoops or otherwise do as she’s told.
Honor is guilty of almost the same things. Rather than see her brother as a pet though, she often tries to be his mom. Yesterday, Brian came up to me to talk, and Honor walks in with “Have you finished your homework yet? Why aren’t you at the table?” While Brian taking an instructor role with her can bug her to no end, she, contrarily, often demands that he do just so. She also wants him to do what she wants him to do, when she wants it, and she expects him to read her mind when she’s annoyed with him.
I find myself repeating: “Help her only if she WANTS help, ask first!” or “Don’t assume he meant to make you mad, ask! Use your words.”
I have to remind them to use nice words and tone of voice. They both have strong tempers… Brian’s is a cold smoldering burn, Honor’s is a hot fiery explosion. Both had tantrums when they were very young – completely out of control, raging furies. Usually, if they could quickly agree to time out and take some cool down time, they’d be fine, but if they got to a certain point, they’d melt-down, no stopping it. Most people we knew at the time did not believe me, or thought I was exaggerating, when I told them this because the kids would otherwise be sweet and behaved, but a few witnessed these fits – they know. I honestly believe that they were caused by the utter frustration of not being able to properly express themselves or their needs. Still, tantrums meant a nap, bed time, or time out. Being upset, even very angry, was ok with us, throwing a tantrum was not. Both kids tend to be very strongly and emotionally passionate, which is generally a very good thing, but I am so happy that we’ve reached an age of reason… and that they each have such different wants and needs! I can’t imagine how we’d survive if they both wanted and needed the same things in life! I still have to remind them that it’s quite ok to get angry and to be mad at each other, because they will get mad at each other, that’s life, but it’s what you do with your mad that matters. They handle it pretty well these days. The whole headstrong and competitive traits of the Aries and Capricorn zodiac signs… oh yes, so much truth there. On a genetic level.
Speaking of competitive. Everything is faster, first, bigger, most. I don’t get it. Why?! I don’t see the point of it?! But anything that can be counted or measured or in any way contested – will be. Fortunately, for all of us, most things they want do not overlap. They have different interests, so what they want to be ‘the best’ in is often not the same thing as what their sibling wants. Sometimes they do clash, but sometimes it’s simply fun to watch how they actually help each other succeed. They compete, but they are also each other’s biggest fan.
Not sure what this post is actually about – I was doing some house cleaning and looking around at their toys, papers,drawings, and whatnot and it made me think of how much I like to watch our kids together. I love to watch how they grow and learn. The good, the bad, the silly and the difficult. Most of it is all good. We ended up with a good set of kidlings, and I am happy and proud to be their mom.