So, as previously mentioned in an earlier blog, I have Salt and Pepper for children….chalk and cheese…..apples and oranges…black and white……I really could go on, but I think you get the picture? This being said, there have been a number of …….. shall we say, ‘’differences of opinion’’ in my household over the years, as I assume there are in most?? Not yours? Just smile and nod…..I implore you!!
When my sons were just little itty-bitties, they were an average size. I am also just an average size. We were a fairly average sized household! Okay, not going to lie, they were always a little taller than their peers, but not dramatically. More importantly though, I was an adult, and they were still little itty-bitties. So when there were ‘’differences of opinions’’ so to speak, their size was not an issue. I would grab each one by the arm (firmly), and send them to their rooms to cool off……. easy. What a mother I was! Problems nipped in bud…..just like that!
But eventually these teensy weensy little darlings grew up, as they do. They didn’t just grow up, they grew into MAMMOTH BEASTS. Besides the obvious problem created for the mother…..me…I am the mother (who was still same size as before, but now looked itty-bitty next to them), this created a new set of problems, and even more troublesome, a new set of dynamics!!
My younger beast, Salt, is three years younger than Pepper. When they were teensy weensies, Pepper always had the upper hand. He was older, and he was for a long time bigger. When ‘’differences of opinions’’ emerged, Pepper treaded lightly, as he understood he was the older brother, and did not take advantage of his younger brother. But when Salt grew….my goodness gracious, HE GREW……tall, big and oaf like in stature did my Salt grow!! So now we had a situation of Salt, not the most even tempered oaf, suddenly realizing that, although his height was fairly similar to that of Pepper’s, his oaf like stature was going to be a huge advantage!! It was as if oaf had been unshackled….released into the Universe, to be an intimidating presence in poor Salt’s life.
Being the calm (not), relaxed (not) and composed (certainly not!!), mother that I am, I detected a problem or 3 in the horizon. For instance, I pictured Pepper being flattened by Salt like a bug, or either Salt or Pepper landing up shattering the glass coffee table, that they always bloody manage to stand so precariously close to when undertaking a ‘’difference of opinion’’. Threatened to get rid of that table on many occasions I did, but then I reasoned that there were also windows ‘n stuff that one or both could go flying through!
Now, for you to comprehend why this apparent over reaction on my part reared its ugly head, I feel you need to understand a bit of family history on the part of the paternal and maternal ancestry of Salt and Pepper.
My husband was one of four brothers. A Lebanese family (continental, feisty and spirited), close, family oriented, bickered, pooped and farted…..BUT, when there was a ‘’difference of opinion’’.….tempers flared, fists flew, obscenities were yelled…once or twice mouths foamed…..I kid you not. This was COMPLETELY foreign to me!! The first time I witnessed this, I was ready to call for back up. But then, as quickly as it started, it ended. Back to the close knit family they had been five minutes prior. Us girlfriends and daughters-in-law became so unaffected by it, we would just carry on with whatever we were doing, as if nothing was happening.
Now, Salt and Pepper’s maternal side was in deep contrast to the feisty paternal side! I had three older brothers. Growing up, I have very few memories of arguments ever becoming physical between them. My two older brothers were the closest in age, so they would probably have been the best candidates for potential ‘’differences of opinion’’ They were chalk and cheese, just like my honey darlings. Big difference though, was that as much as my second oldest brother would have been game for a battle, my oldest brother is the most evenly tempered, logical and philosophical person I have ever come across. Yes…we are full blood relatives, so don’t even ……. They were both a decade and a bit older than me, so I did not have any first hand experience of the dynamics between them. The third brother came along six years later, and there I did witness arguments and ‘’differences of opinion’’, but more in a big brother bullying a younger brother kind of way. We were more the sulkers than the fighters.
So, you see, I had to wait a minute to see in which direction my sons would go, in order to plan my strategy going forward. Well a minute passed, and well yes….of course, over reaction on my part was completely justified. Of course the road taken by both oaf and the bigger oaf was the feisty and spirited road!!!
However, to all those single moms out there, who have 2 oaf like creatures…..feisty and spirited creatures, in your homes, I say this…..
There comes a time when you cannot physically separate two Goliaths. When two feisty and spirited Goliaths have ”differences of opinions’’, and your hand cannot even FIT around their arms any longer….or your screaming on the top of your voice is not even heard over said oafs yelling at each other…..get your car keys, go to your car and drive around the block until you get calls or messages from these sweety darlings, telling you to come back, or that they are sorry or that they love you, or all three. I have learnt that once you remove yourself from the situation, everything diffuses. Works like a charm!
To date, there has been no fists flown. I cannot lie, if this does ever happen, I see my inner beast coming out, and oafs or not….this itty bitty grumpy mummy will make Salt and Pepper wish they had never flown a fist!!!
Oh go ahead….judge me…..until you’e walked a mile in my shoes…blah bah blah