Sunday, October 26, 2008

an angry, angry god in a signless car

Six year-old Lucy styles herself a god, and she's not above throwing her weight around. The other day in the car, I was flipping through radio stations and passed by the one Lucy wanted. "Go back!"

"No, I like this one," I said, pausing on one playing Nirvana.

"I condemn you to hell! Now will you go back?"

"No, I'm listening to this one. You're condemning your mother to hell because she didn't pick the right radio station?"

The Great God Lucy muttered various imprecations, which ended up with the threat that I was being condemned to hell, where I'd die in a pool of hot lava only to come back to life right there in hell, where I'd live a life of suffering and die in the hot lava, only to be condemned to hell once again.

Iris and I were impressed by the scope of Lucy's wrath. Lucy reiterated, to make sure the gravity of the situation was fully grasped: "You will be condemned to hell and THEN condemned to hell AGAIN!"

It is always a joy, ferrying these children about. Beyond the threats of hellfire, they fight bitterly over the armrest. The Sober Husband put a piece of masking tape as a divider, but that hasn't helped much. They fight over who is taking up too much of the tape. Yesterday Iris's long hair strayed over the line, which was the cause of much offense on the part of the Great God Lucy, who ended up administering a punitive slap on the head to Iris.

"I'm going to get a sign," I said wearily. It is my fantasy to install a sign in the car, like bus drivers have, reading, "Do Not Speak To Driver." Then I will threaten the children: "Don't make me tap my sign."

"Well, you DON"T have a sign," pointed out Iris. "So give up pretending like you do."


Oldsoul_NotQuite said...

This may be too introspective a question, and I only have your blog posts to go on, but why do you think your children fight so much?

kaila said...

Oh my God, now that is funny. Thankfully, I only have one little person, but when we take him and a friend, it is almost like what you describe.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Oldsoul, did you have siblings? I'd enjoy hearing what your relationship was like with them.

I fought bitterly with my own sister, and my husband fought horrendously with one of his brothers growing up. We tried (or at least I did; I think the husband took a more fatalistic approach) to raise these children with as little rivalry as possible. They are spaced 3 years apart (we were spaced just barely a year apart from our hated siblings); I read and re-read that modern classic, "Siblings Without Rivalry" by A. Faber, etc.., etc.. They got long beautifully until Iris turned 5 and took a sudden hatred to her little sister.

2amsomewhere said...

(tongue planted firmly in cheek)

It's quite clear from this perspective that the situation has escalated to the point that we need some form of demilitarization.

I would suggest replacing the masking tape with a neutral zone which may be occupied by neither sibling, enforced by lasers that are aligned with the outer edges of the zone.

If there are frequent infractions, retrofit the booster seats with low voltage electrodes that actuate a mild shock when the offending part violates the zone.

(breaks out of faux mode)

Sibling rivalry is unavoidable, to be sure. Do you think that there exists any actions you could take that would lead both children to question their hatred? It's tough to get my 5 y.o. to think rationally, but sometimes it does happen.


Anonymous said...

Love my brother now but jesus christ did we get into it as kids. IMO the closer in age, the more fighting. but also the more playing, and the dh doesn't write about that as much, I believe because it's not as amusing.

the Drunken Housewife said...

The anonymous poster has it right: sometimes they play beautifully, but usually that's not memorable. I did write once about their pretending to be "vampire fairies' who sipped blood from goblets and "celebrated the death of a human." Little freaks!

Captain Steve said...

I attempted to kill my brother (incidentally, 2 years and 9 months younger) often and with gusto. I never condemned anyone to hell though. I'm sure it's because I was a mere mortal and don't have the powers of the Great God Lucy.

Oldsoul_NotQuite said...

Yes, I did (brother 3 years younger), and we fought bitterly and there was a lot of bad blood. My brother passed away a few years ago and I am surprised by how much I miss him and how much I regret all the fighting. We never had much of an adult relationship as I moved away to go to college and never came back except for the odd vacation. I was hoping for some profound insights from you!!

Anonymous said...

Oldest DD and youngest DD are 3 1/2 years apart ... The first three years of youngest DD's life she worshiped the very ground her older sister walked on. THEN something happened and they've never gotten along since. Just last month, now that they're almost 21 and 17, they were arguing bitterly in my house and I just snapped ... I'd just bought 2 packages of butter, and threw one packet at each of them, screaming "enough, enough! You have nothing left to fight over except the butter in the fridge!" And they both just collapsed in hysterical laughter, exclaiming to each other their mother had finally snapped and which one should accompany me to the nut house! Hey, at least they were talking to each other instead of arguing!

Here's hoping it gets better!


the Drunken Housewife said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Oldsoul. How terrible.

My girls do have a bond beneath all that fighting. Sometimes they play well together (I posted not too long ago that they pretended Iris was a corpse that Lucy had to take to a graveyard, such dark little children). I found a note Lucy wrote to Iris over the weekend, which was so sweet. It went something like, "Dear Iris, I hope you are having a good day. Love, Lucy."

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog today and "an angry, angry god in a signless car" was my first read. I have to tell you that I cried laughing.

Oldsoul_NotQuite said...

That is sweet, and clever for a 5 year old! You must be doing something right (besides mixing cocktails). I did read a lot of the comments on the book you mentioned on amazon. Have recommended it to the mother of my god child, who is the mom of 2 boys, aged 3 years apart.

thi said...

OMG. A "recursive curse."

Ahhhhh, the geek in me laughs long and heartily, just as the rest of me laughs equally so - at my inner geek.