So let’s talk about boys tonight. I have two. So as to protect their privacy (kind of), for this blog I have named them Drama Queen (14 year old – a Freshman in High School this year) and the Instigator (12 year old, in 7th grade this year).
They are less than 2 years apart and when they were younger I was often asked if they were twins. I would smile and tell people, “No, they are almost 2 years apart”. Most people would just remark how surprised they were to hear this. Except for that one checkout clerk at the grocery store one day who actually asked me, “Are you sure?”
As if I, their mother, who DEFINITELY remembers two labors and deliveries, might be mistaken. GEEZ!
But I digress – I’m talking about the boys, not others who need their heads checked.
The boys have always shared a room until just recently. And while they would always fight like normal siblings, they were also inseparable for years. It was as if they did not know what to do with themselves if the other one was not around. So they would often drive their father and me insane until we finally went and retrieved the other boy from wherever they were at.
However, in the last year or so this has all changed. These boys fight over EVERYTHING and NOTHING! I often tell the story of how one day I walked into the living room to break up a fight – a physical fight between them. When I finally got the story out of them I just stood there staring at them for a few moments. Apparently, the two of them (and ONLY the two of them) were playing a game of Uno and they got into an argument of whether the play should go to the left or the right. An argument that was so heated it resulted in blows! I think I actually voiced out loud my thought – “It does not fucking matter! It is the same either way!” They both stared at me as if I had lost my mind.
Now though it has gotten worse. They fight constantly and are just total jerks to each other. They can’t even be in the same room without making some comment under their breath with the sole purpose of getting under the skin of the other one. And in the end they succeed in totally getting under my skin.
My aunt and I were recently talking about this and she said her boys went through the same thing at this age. She described it as them getting a divorce. In this case a really nasty one. They have been operating almost like one person for so long and they are becoming independent now. As part of that they are breaking some of the ties between each other. And they are doing it in a very dramatic and annoying (to mom) way.
They are both being such jerks to each other and each of them is only concerned with how the other has wronged them. They don’t even consider their own behavior. They are totally blind to the fact the exact behavior they are complaining about from their brother is exactly how they are acting. You know – that couple going through a nasty divorce where everyone else can see how unreasonable and jerky they are being to each other and how absolutely horrible they are both acting – yet both of them point the finger and blame the other 100%. Those are my boys!
I have actually sat them down a couple times now and been extremely honest with them. The conversation goes something like this:
“So, here’s the deal. You are both being assholes. You (pointing to the Drama Queen) are being a total asshole to your brother. And YOU (pointing to the Instigator) are being a total asshole to your brother. You are both so freaking worried about what an asshole the other one is being that you don’t see what a HUGE asshole you are being. So bottom line, you are both assholes and you both need to stop RIGHT NOW!!”
It really did not do much good, hence my saying I’ve done it a few times. Makes me feel a bit better but they still both only see what they want to see.
I’ve been told this too will pass and they will one day grow close again. It may not be until they are moved out of my house though. That part sucks. But at least talking to other moms makes me feel a little better. There is hope and it is not because I’m a horrible mom (or at least not 100% my fault). It is normal brother stuff.
And if you don’t agree – please just don’t comment. I have enough stress and crap in my life right now. I want to believe this is normal so I can stay sane!