I have three fabulous fellas, and everyone knows that threesomes don't work often. My eldest two are the least alike, and my youngest seems to be able to morph into whatever the others want at any particular time. So he's not the problem, oh no no no. Maybe the moon has entered a new phase, or maybe it's frustration of the small house, or (in most likelihood) it's the middle one entering the toilet humour phase just as my eldest leaves it, but they are constantly at each other. If it wasn't so frustrating, it would be comforting in it's predictability. Lets just say the time between 8am-8.50am seems to be when they are at fever pitch. I've tried heading this time off by forcing them to stay away from each other, but they always manage to end up in the same place, snipping, irritating or just being plain mean. And lets just add that 8.am-8.50am is never the most stress free time of my day, let alone when there is an 11 year old and a 9 year old who are hell bent on making life difficult for each other.
There are consequences threatened, there are consequences realised which always results in more blaming, and door slamming. And in this tiny house there are an awful lot of doors with fragile leadlight windows in them that don't appreciate being slammed and with our move out date only a week away, any door slamming brings on a white rage in me, as I see myself trying to find a leadlight repairman, just because someone said "fart".
I've tried threatening them (never works for me because I am the world's worst enforcer), I've tried getting them to make a plan together (backfired - they turned on me) but yesterday as we were driving home from school, I had a break through.
I cajoled them into realising how much they loved each other.
I'm not sure how it got started, but it went something along the lines of..
Me: ok, so imagine you're in a fire, and you could only save either your best friend Bruce (ok, we all know this is a fictional name, as noone calls their kids Bruce these days), or Rafe, who would you save
Me: So you would rescue Rafe and save his life
Will: Err yeah, but if he said fart, I'd be so furious.
Rafe: But I wouldn't Will....
Me: Ok so Rafe, if it was you and you could only save Stanley (best friend and yes, fictional - no surprises there), or Will, who would you save?
Rafe: but Stanleys not my best friend Mum, Tony is...
Me: Righto, would you save Tony or Will?
Rafe: I'd save Will
Me: Because you love him right?
Me: So don't keep fighting as if you don't love each other, because you do.
Will: So what if we were in a triangle shape house and it was on fire and me, Rafe and Smith needed to be rescued, who would you save?
Me (without any hesitation), I would call out to you to rescue Smith and I would get Rafe, and we'd all get out safely.
Will: You know Mum if I needed to I could save both Rafe and Smith
Me: I know mate.
And yes, like clockwork at 8am this morning, they started going at it again. But somehow it didn't seem as bad this morning. It's nice to know you're loved.