Growing up I had six younger brothers and sisters. Of course there were times I was jealous of my sisters who got to do things I didn't, like eat lunch with Grandpa at Penguin Point because I was in school and they weren't. Or I was upset because I had to help Dad with some sort of job just because I was the oldest while my brothers and sisters were doing something else. Ah, sibling rivalry...what wonderful memories!!
Sibling rivalry sure doesn't end with twins. You'd think everything would be fine since they do everything at the same time and share practically everything. After all they start school at the same time, get the same gifts at Christmas and birthdays and share clothes.
But no, with twins it seems I have to go out of my way to make sure the balance of fairness never gets tipped in either direction. Yip and Yap are always ready to alert me to any injustice they have suffered.
"He got to sit by the baby last time." (I'm still not sure why this one is such a privelege!)
"He picked out the movie yesterday!"
"Why do I have to help do that again?!"
It's enough to make my nose hairs stand on end! (Wouldn't that be a funny sight!)
To battle against the offenses and inequity of being a twin we have come up with a system in our house. Trash Boy and Dog Boy.
Every morning the boys do chores after breakfast. One dumps all the trash in the house and the other feeds and waters the dog. These two chores set the tone for the whole day and the boys alternate these jobs everyday. We even have to write on a calendar which day is who's to be Trash Boy. Since the trash tends to be the most undesirable job, it's smelly and messy, Trash Boy gets the glory of the day. He chooses what we watch on tv. He gets to sit where he wants at mealtime. We read on Trash Boy's bed at bedtime.
But with the Good also comes the Bad. Trash Boy also has to help set the table or any other little chore that pops up during the day. He's the first to take a bath and brush his teeth; all those things a six year old boy would rather put off during the day.
I never set out to create Trash Boy; it evolved on its own with help from Yip and Yap. Yet, I'm pleasantly surprised how efficient the system has become.
So, your turn. How do you keep sibling fights and arguments to a minimum? Do you have a system to share?