Heard in my house this morning:
Biniam: Mo-om, Yosef called me poo-poo!!!
Yosef: Well Biniam was being a crocodile to me!
My little ones tend to get along quite well under normal circumstances, but sometimes they argue. It can be hard finding the balance between interfering, and letting them work it out on their own. (Read: this mommy does not like being a policeman!) Sometimes I like to joke that our family is a big social experiment, what with four young children so close in age to one another. Hmmm, I guess that's not really a joke!
Fortunately everyone seems to like each other and the older ones are so very patient with the baby. I hope they're learning big life lessons in the every-day-ness of family dynamics. Taking turns, sharing, putting others first, dealing with being bummed out. Our family doesn't really look like a lot of other families, and not simply because we are a mixed-race family. This many children this close together tends to turn a few heads all on its own, and one of the most common questions I'm asked is, how do they get along?
I'd say they get along just fine. There are the occasional spats, tears, yelling (sometimes on more occasions than I would like). But they know that whatever activies we do, their baby sister will be there. That when we get up tomorrow, we'll all be heading out or playing together. We wait for each other, share our snacks with one another, and are gentle with little Katie.
Our society is segregated in about a million ways. That includes being segregated by age, and it begins very early on. My kids obviously won't always be hanging out together all day, everyday, but for now, they are. And I like to think that in spite of the name-calling and crocodile-being, they are growing and being shaped into just who God wants them to be.