Saturday, August 20, 2005


My girls fight. They bicker. They pick at each other. They pound on each other. The twins are especially bad. I think they've been fighting since they were in the womb. Lulu's newborn picture shows her with a scowl, tiny fists clenched next to her face, and she looks a little beaten up. (I know those scratches are self-inflicted. But it amuses me to think that they fought even before they were born.)

Obviously, we would like for them to get along, and barring that, to avoid the punching. The kicking. The scratching. Lou was really awful about beating on Bebe. And Bebe would just kind of take it and wail -- she never retaliated. I remember Lulu biting Bebe's head when they were babies. Or biting Bebe's finger when it would find its way into Lou's mouth. I think the sentence I most repeated, even before it could be understood, was, "She's going to be bigger than you and she won't just take it forever. She's going to beat you up if you don't stop."

And, of course, that came to pass. Bebe became more defensive and Lou ended up with the scratches and bruises. So, we have been trying to teach them to walk away from their fights. To come and tell Archie or me when things are getting out of control. Probably all the things every other parent tries and which fail repeatedly because they're kids and they just can't be perfect all the time.

This morning, Lou and Beebs were trying to figure out which DVD to watch for slumber party night. They were doing an elimination game and it was going well. The spirit of cooperation was evident. ChaCha and I went into the bathroom to brush her teeth.

Lulu came in, all flustered. She said she and Bebe were arguing, so she just walked away. Wow. Good for you. Then Elizabee came in and complained because, essentially, Lou didn't stay to fight. They both agreed on what had happened, but I had to take Lou's side -- I felt she'd done the right thing by leaving instead of fighting.

Of course, that gave them fuel for another argument. I went into the kitchen and had a cup of coffee. Sometimes the arbiter needs a break.

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