The Bumpy Road to Brotherly Love

There exists in our house this morning a time of holiday peace and love. Down the hall in the living room the two sons are chatting amicably as one of them plays NCAA football on the Wii. In fact, the older one is even sharing his most-valued playing tips with the younger one, and the younger one is even politely voicing his appreciation for this.

It's like the front of a Christmas card, isn't it? One would think such domestic peace lives in our house like this all the time.

But alas, it does not. In fact, the road to this brotherly love has been a bumpy one, starting Monday morning when the boys began spending their holiday period of "all day for the next two weeks" togetherness. Unfortunately, what started as a road of joy and anticipation went quickly downhill from there. Yes, there were some times of working and playing together, but it slowly began to decline into joking jabs, intentional irritation, and slapstick humor lacking in all self-control. Then it moved to yelling and some pushing and shoving. Angry tirades began to spurt up here and there, putting the mother on "intervention standby status". In fact, after noticing a ominously quiet spell after an especially explosive ping pong match in the garage, the mother seriously wondered if one of them had slayed the other and was even then working up the nerve to tell her the bad news.

All of this negative behaviour worked its way into a frothing bad sibling frenzy last night, when the whole family was going out to dinner with friends (whom, incidentally, they like and want to think well of them). On the way to this dinner the parents were aghast to hear the resounding sounds of slaps and punches coming from their two boys who had the extra bad luck of having to sit next to each other in the back of the suburban.

Oh, the horror of it. A severe punishment was quickly brought down on their heads, and they both spent a somewhat somber dinner out with friends, hopefully mulling over their misdeeds.

This morning, both boys awoke repentant and intent on reversing some of their deserved punishment. They were put through the paces by their father, and then were both so appreciative to have the punishment reversed that now they just love each other.

Which leads the mother to wonder, would it have just been better if they had just punched and slapped each other about mid-Monday afternoon, and we could have achieved this level of peace a long time ago? An unconventional method of parenting, I know, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

picture by krisdecurtis (Creative Commons License: Attribution, Non-Commercial)

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jlockecz  – (23 December 2009 at 21:13)  

Might I add that the punishment was only partially reversed.

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