Just Desserts

December 8, 2010 at 5:12 am | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 13 Comments
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Lollipop is four. Giggles is almost three. And, already, I’m way out of my league.

They irk each other. On purpose. They steal toys and snatch Cheerios, and they make-believe spit on each other. They shriek so loud the dog howls. (Poor dog.) Sometimes, I howl, too. (Poor Mom.)

Dinnertime is the worst. After an appropriate amount of food has been stuffed into little mouths, smeared across cheeks and chins, or slipped silently to the dogs, the children get a dessert. A pack of Smarties, a cup of chocolate milk, a handful of marshmallows: whatever they want so long as it is guaranteed to cause cavities.

Dessert is served. And Lollipop, my dear sweet Lollipop, turns into a master manipulator. She waits. And waits. And waits. And waits.

Till Giggles is done. Till he is forced to sit there and watch her eat her dessert. In its entirety. Bite by drool-inducing bite.

She prods him along by asking, “Aren’t you done yet, buddy?” Or makes comments like, “You only have three pieces left!” With a big, serene smile, of course.

Giggles, so far, is oblivious. Not bothered in the least. But I know it’s only a matter of time. Before he figures it out. Before he fights back.

Before he dishes out something guaranteed to give Big Sister her, well, her just desserts.

What do you know of sibling rivalry? And what should I do about it? Enroll them in chess class??



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  1. My sister was ruthless! She was almost 4 years older than me and boy, she never let me forget it!

  2. oh my gosh I LOVE this. Because you are SO right in your observations. We have a big sister in our house who is 3 1/2 years older than her brother. She was the bossiest person in his life. And manipulative? She reinvented the meaning of the word.

    Mostly I stayed out. I mean, well, I got in there when I just couldn’t resist. But I tried hard to stay out. And I just watched for 10 years.

    As the dynamic changed.

    At school of course little brother is quite popular and has an easy way with people. Big sis has always struggled with her people skills. She has been known to search out her brother because “he offers the best hugs” when she’s had a particularly bad day.

    She graduates in 6 months. The person she’s certain she will miss the most? The boy she’s been beating up on and couldn’t stand for the last decade.

    It’s been fascinating to watch. Truly. Better than the best film.

  3. I’m the oldest, and I never learned to be the more ruthless! My just-younger sister pushed me down the stairs and kicked me under the table. Later, my parents are convinced she willed herself to be taller than me. But we had good times in between, and I didn’t want to be taller, anyway!
    My aunt used to buy us cooperative board games, which we never opened. Chess sounds like a better option…

  4. Ha! Too cute! I have no advice about sibling rivalry. My son is seven years older than his sister and they STILL bicker and whine and tease each other. Constantly. Good luck! 🙂

  5. It will happen. Pretty soon they with BOTH be pushing buttons, and then all three! My house can be quite noisy.

  6. I think my younger sister might have a share of her stories. I am nine years older, so I am afraid of how I probably did bait her.

  7. I am an only child so all this is pretty alien to me experience-wise but I can’t wait to see how the relationship unfolds between Little Miss and her future sibling. Not sure if my lack of experience in this area would hurt how I deal with any sort of rivalry and conflict in the future. But then again, we were never parents and look, our kids are healthy and happy. OK, so there’s hope yet… I have to admit it still terrifies me a little though.

    • I’m an only child, too, and I fear I’m in for it. I am so totally in over my head. And it’s too late now! =>

  8. The sibling rivalry over here ranges from really mean to pathetically ridiculous. I never know whether to intervene or let them work it out.
    The good news is that the melees pass quickly and the kids return to being best friends.

  9. Siblings are wonderful and terrible all at once, aren’t they? It’s funny, I think it’s easier and harder with a bigger age gap. The disparities are greater. Most of the time, they do great together. Now, my sister and I (2 years apart) – we fought hard. And loved well.

  10. My hubby likes to say of our almost five and two and a half year olds, “They can’t be with each other and they can’t be without each other.” They play together all the time, which is awesome, but the play is constantly interrupted with mild violence, tears, and calls for me to intervene. I did have a moment earlier today when I realized they had been playing for about thirty minutes without incident.

    I love my siblings, but I fought with the sister closest to me quite a bit as a little girl. Now? Talk to her every day, often more than once.

  11. The sibling relationship is so amazing. I tend to think that relationships vary based more on personality than on the age difference.

    It’s great that your son is oblivious. Maybe you could dismiss him from the table after he’s done eating so he doesn’t have to watch her? Or maybe your daughter will lose interest soon (since it doesn’t get her brother all riled up).

  12. The girls, of course, are absolutely the best of friends and play great together.

    Except when they don’t.

    As long as it doesn’t come to physical altercation, I try very hard to stay out of it. If I need to enforce a “take turns” rule, a timer is employed. They are of ages (6 and almost 4) that interpersonal relationships have to be developed. Sometimes, if they are annoying each other, they are especially annoying me (their sleep-deprived, hormonal mommy), so I send them to their room to settle it. or not.

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