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My three kids can be anything from best friends to arch rivals. Growing up I remember hearing the expression “they’d fight over fresh air”. Wow do I understand those words now. It sometimes sends me into a tail spin – you’re fighting over WHAT?!!!!
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Laura-Leigh said to me recently “you have lines on your face
when you are cross or angry but they go away when you are happy”. Now if they would just stop fighting for ten
minutes I might be a happier person.
I often find myself quoting a bunny, yes thumper I love your
line in Bambi “If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”. Yes I use it A LOT in my house because they like to bicker A LOT.
Ok so admittedly the apple doesn’t fall too far from the
tree. Guilty as charged. I have childhood memories were I was pretty
cruel to my siblings or vice versa my siblings weren’t too nice to their little
The strongest memory is the handful of thick dark brown hair
I held to my hand, it belonged to my little Sister Tracy, 3 years my
junior. I am sure she “aggravated” me
over something extremely trivial and she probably got me back. Tracy, I apologise! I also remember walloping
my handbag with a metal clasp across your face and firing a pen and narrowly
missing your eye. You were my chief
bridesmaid so I am sure that means you totally forgive me for all my childhood
misdemenours. I got as good as I gave . I am not 100% ruffian. Yes my older sister Mandy chased me up the
stairs as I had “aggravated” her, I ran into the bathroom, locked the door,
thinking I was really clever. She wasn’t
giving up and she was really “aggravated” with me and a locked wooden door wasn’t
going to stop her. I tried to protect
myself and I broke the handle off.
Shit. Now to explain that to
Daddy who was outside mowing the lawn.
In my teens, I “borrowed” my sister Susanne’s sweater (or jumper as we
call them in Ireland). She was
“aggravated”. She waited in the bushes
as I got off the bus and chased me down our driveway. I have to admit I am laughing as I type that
one. So many more childhood memories but
I will spare you.
My own kids will
fight over everything, here are a few examples:
This is the number one reason for kids to fight. Absolutely nothing. No reason – nada. Let’s just get extremely annoyed with each
other over absolutely nothing. We have
all the toys in the world which we need, we have food in our bellies, a roof
over our head and really fabulous parents, this sucks…….let’s fight over
NOTHING! This happens on a regular
basis, at approximately ten minute intervals.
I swear they would fight with their own shadows.
Entering or exiting The Minivan
This is an old reason to my house thankfully but I am sure
some of you are experiencing this fun one.
Yes they actually fight over who opens the door, who gets in first and
who gets out first. It got so bad I was
going to bring them to the local cop shop and get them thrown in a cell for a
night as time outs just weren’t cutting it.
Really does it matter who gets in or out first! You have got to be kidding me. This would add about 5 minutes to my journey
time. I fought the idea of a minivan for
12 solid months but caved but one of the great things about this vehicular
beauty is that it separates them.
Heaven. There is a little bit
more distance between them. Having said
that Jamie (4) was “aggravating” his big sister Laura-Leigh (5) by stretching
his leg over and using her knees as a rest knowing this would drive her
We did lots of road trips during the summer. Most were on average 2 hours. 2 hours with 3 kids aged 5 and under. There is a nutty gene within me. Anyway, my kids are quirky which I love. Jamie is the middle child, born in Ireland
and very much the Irishman (bearing in mind he moved here at 4 months old). He loves a singer songwriter by the name of
Luke Kelly (for my Canadian audience).
He shouts from the back “Raglan road” (a song by Luke), Ryan (2) his
parrot shouts the same and then Laura- Leigh intervenes with screeching
Maiden”. The minute I try and put on music
I might actually like the wailing gets too much and I give in, anything not to
have to listen to them. I want to point
out that I love them more than words can say but on occasions I wish they were
a little, you know, quieter.
Flushing Face off
I took the boys to the washroom with me recently. All three of us squashed into a tiny
cubicle. They took care of business and
it was my turn. Like a Mommy Ninja I am
hoovering and Jamie asks me is my bum too big to sit down. Love the way they look at things. Laughing I turn to flush the toilet and they
are slapping each other…….over who gets to flush the toilet. Life will really never be the same once you
reproduce. You will be in awe at the
daily weirdness and unexpectedness.
They either ALL want to hold my hand or NOBODY wants to hold
The glorious minivan pulls up in a parking space and out I
get and spend about 5 minutes getting them out of this mechanical beast. They have outnumbered me for quite a while
now. I can technically only hold two
kids hands and guess what they will fight, argue, debate and discuss who is
going to hold whose hand forgetting I am there mother and actually there and
actually speaking and telling them this information. That would involve listening to me. That is another blog. Listening.
I have a great vantage point from my kitchen window. It allows me to supervise my kids from a
distance. I glanced out recently and all
were happily playing. I walked away and
returned about 2 minutes later. What I
saw prompted me to run fast. Laura-Leigh
and Jamie were “aggravated” with each other and both turned into UFC
Champions. Oh my God, I was horrified, I
didn’t raise them like this. I was sure
I would see hair and blood if I didn’t break them up which I promptly did. I can’t actually remember what they were
fighting about, perhaps I am suffering from PTSD?
He giveth only to taketh away again and again
I sometimes call Jamie the Tormentor. He does it so well he deserves a title. It’s in his blood, he cannot help
himself. He will push you to the cliff's
edge and rein you in with a hug. He is
the middle child. Oh the middle child,
that is another entirely separate blog, even book. He has his younger brother so confused and me
too at times. One minute he is playing
nicely, acting kindly by giving his pirate sword to Ryan along with a hat. Anyone who knows Ryan knows he is OBSESSED
with pirates, it used to be Ice Hockey but that was so six months ago!!! Ryan is pottering happily playing with is
favourite toy which technically belongs to Jamie, but the latter has given it to
the former under no duress. Suddenly I
hear a piercing screech followed by “JJJJJJaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmieeeeee”. Jamie has decided he wants to the sword back,
he decided at age four he is not going to use his words, instead he pulls it
out of Ryan’s hands and clocks him over the head with it. It’s foam thankfully. At four he understands the art of sharing but
there is just no filter inside him, he is reactionary and poor Ryan is left
confused. The thing is Jamie is built
like a wafer and Ryan is built like a tank, he is going to get his comeuppance and
it’s not going to be pretty. I keep
warning him of this fact. However, his
ears don’t work too well when I speak for some really strange reason!!!!
The squabbling can happen anywhere. All three are planted in the bath, yes all
three. Don’t judge. They all fit in and it saves time! The generally have great fun, showing each
other underwater tricks, blowing bubbles, playing with bath toys and splashing
around. Then it comes to getting out and
they fight over who is getting out first.
In order to alleviate the situation we have to be creative. Pick a number between 1 and 10 and the first
to 3 wins and stays in last. It’s is
entertaining and we don’t include Ryan as poor Ryan doesn’t even know his own
age yet. He doesn’t give two hoots and
he is two. Ryan will be the class
clown. When I ask him how old he is, he
scrunches up his devilishly cute little face, lips pursed and his dimple just
below his left eye appears, he replies “I dunno”. He comes out first, he doesn’t even realise it's
It happens in every household. The constant bickering. It drives us Moms bonkers. The sad reality is that it will continue
until they leave, I know this. I recently
bought a book by Carol McCloud called “Have you filled a bucket today”?” – A guide
to daily happiness for kids. It is
fabulous and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
A simple concept. We each have an
invisible bucket which we can either fill (by random acts of kindness or using
kind words) or we can bucket dip (cruel words or actions). If you were a fly on the wall in the Rigney
Household, firstly what a lucky fly you would be, secondly you would constantly
hear “Are you dipping into my/his/her bucket?” or” Very good you are filling
our buckets”. My kids understand it and
want to be bucket fillers. The fighting
over fresh air will continue but hopefully the amount of daily occurrences will
As always: -
never a dull moment in this house.
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