Brother and sister

With their brother away on his French exchange, my younger two children seem different. Like there’s a weight off their shoulders. They seem happier, lighter, more relaxed. Nicer, even.

They are getting on so well together – chatting, laughing, singing, dancing. I see glimpses of this in the mornings on school days, when they chat about the minutiae of life at their school – who said what, who did what, who was naughty, who made people laugh. But it’s short-lived. The chat ends, the day starts and their guards go up.

My eldest and my daughter have an uneasy relationship. He is on her case from the moment she gets up until the moment she goes to bed. The things she says and does are boring and irritating. He’s not interested in her. Understandably, she’s on the defensive the whole time, and attack has lately become the best form of defence. In the mornings, it is seconds before one of them attacks the other. It’s uncomfortable, tiring and irritating. Not just for them, but for the whole family.

And where does this leave their brother? Stuck in the middle.

He can’t win. He sees what’s happening, but he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he’s seen to take sides, it adds to the problems, so he usually just removes himself from the situation.

Apart from those brief chats at breakfast, he doesn’t interact much with his sister, for fear of incurring his brother’s wrath.

But, with their brother gone, they are free to be who they want to be.

Nobody is judging them if they want to sing or dance or chatter. Nobody shouts at them if their jokes aren’t funny or if their anecdotes about school are boring.

On the first morning without their brother, my son was up at 7.30 (this never happens). At 8, he went into his sister’s room, where she was still fast asleep, with Let It Go blasting out on YouTube, singing and dancing to it. Did she yell at him for waking her up and refuse to get out of bed? No, she loved it.

And so the tone of the week was set. A happier, more relaxed boy and girl, free to be themselves and to enjoy each others’ company, makes for a happier, more relaxed family.

No shouting, no crying, no arguing, no hitting, no tale telling.

Although I’m missing my biggest boy, it’s lovely to see the way his brother and sister are thriving without him.

I’m hoping that absence will have made the heart grow fonder, for all three of my kids. I really hope this situation can continue for a bit longer after my son gets home from his travels.

Brother, Sister, Siblings

Author: Sarah Mummy

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14 Comments

  1. Ahh it sounds lovely that they’ve bonded. Weirdly my little brother and I bonded after my middle brother moved out. It just changed the dynamics a bit, enough to start to get to know each other properly!

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    • That’s really nice, it’s amazing what a difference these changes to the family dynamic can make!

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  2. Ah bless them! I remember when abi went on residential and I had my youngest two for a week (who really don’t get on) I was dreading it but it was bliss. It didn’t last when she got back though 🙁 I felt awful as always taking one out means the others got on better. Why is that?!

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    • It’s true, but it’s always the way! Even my eldest and daughter get on better when it’s just the two of them.

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  3. I am having exactly the same experience at the moment. My tween is on a school trip all week and my teen is like a different person! No shouting, door slamming, sulking. This morning I asked her if maybe she could continue this way once the tween has returned, she was bit non-committal. It is so weird when the household dynamic shifts isn’t it?

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    • It’s amazing, isn’t it? We have to enjoy it while we can, because it will never last, unfortunately!

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  4. Very interesting how the dynamics change. Mine haven’t been apart long enough for me to really know what would happen here. Not sure I could even guess actually!

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    • I’m sure it will happen one day! I would have guessed these two would get on better, as I know they do get on well, but the influence of their biggest brother makes them reluctant to show it! 🙁

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  5. It must be lovely to see a different side to their relationship. Your daughter and your eldest sound very similar to my two. They love winding each other up and just occasionally I see a different side to their relationship when they actually get on. I hope it continues for your son and daughter when your eldest returns home xx

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    • Thanks very much! I hope we at least get a few days’ peace. I think it’s possible as it’s half-term, so they won’t have the pressure of school.

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  6. It’s interesting to notice how the dynamic changes when one of them isn’t there, isn’t it? The boys are off to their grandparents for half-term next week. On the couple of occasions we’ve done this in the past, Kara’s behaviour has definitely been different – she’s less competitive and grouchy, for sure – so it will be interesting to see if that continues next week.

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    • I bet it will! Both my boys are going away in the summer, which has never happened before. My daughter is really looking forward to it! She’ll be delightful on her own 🙂

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  7. I think it’s sweet they’re bonding xx I suppose as they all get older there’ll be more and more times where they have their own things going on! time to enjoy it! xx

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    • Very true! It’s remarkable how much time they already seem to spend away from home. x

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