Saturday, March 28, 2015

A new (insane) perspective on sibling rivalry

When I added another child to the family, I greatly multiplied the possibilities for sibling rivalry. If you were a math person, you could compute the exact number of permutations or combinations or whatever you call it. I am not a math person. I am a sandwich person.

By my count, we've got the following combos on the rivalry menu:

Big Boy vs Big Girl aka The Original Combo (Primo vs. Seconda)

Biggest vs Smallest ( Primo vs Terza)

Girl vs Girl (Terza vs Seconda)

and then your more harry fare, the two against one deals:

Bigs vs Small (Primo and Seconda vs Terza)


Girls vs Boy (Seconda and Terza vs Primo)

So many options for sibling throw-downs! Which is great, because variety is the spice of life!

Despite the number of possibilities, though, there is one combo that is far more popular than the others, winning by a landslide. That's the Original.

I don't know whether it's the fact that Primo vs Seconda deal has been on the menu five years longer or the fact that Primo and Seconda are just such contradictory flavors that it makes for an incendiary melange, but whatever it is, the big kids arguing accounts for 90 percent of all sibling rivalry. Roughly. I'm no mathematician.

If you're feeling irritated by this seriously overused metaphor, that really wasn't that sound in the first place, consider this: by thinking of my children as sandwich fixings and their showdowns as sibling panini, it makes the chronically unbearable business of sibling rivalry so much more tolerable. Since I don't have anything useful to offer in the way of advice for you, fellow parents, about how you might address sibling rivalry, let me suggest this coping strategy then: imagine your children as lunch meat.

It's the least I can do.