A Spoonful of Sugar

Making every day life as a mom just a little bit sweeter.

The Good, the Bad, and the Irony of it all April 22, 2010

The very first picture with all three sisters...*tear* the baby was just hours old!

Having three girls in five years can make for a very interesting home, including a bathtub full of conditioner and naked Barbies. When they were little, I did the whole ‘dress-them-in-the-same-color’ routine…that was cute. I have sweet pictures of all three of them together playing in the tub, playing store, dress-up, you know…the whole gamut. It’s great being able to buy ‘girl things’ knowing they will be easily passed down to the next. Hair bows, mini pedicures, fun with rollers, lots of tutus, you know…girl stuff! Those are just some of the benefits…there are plenty more, trust me.

Today, however, I am here to discuss the not-so-pleasant side of three out-going, talented, bright, prepubescent female personalities residing under the same roof.


{{{{“Oh, for the love of all things good and holy, why must they BICKER!!??”}}}}

Now, (pardon me while I flick my hair out of my eyes) I do realize that they are together 24-7. They sleep in each other’s rooms, they have meals together, school at the same table every day, play together, go to church together, etc…etc…etc… That would drive me insane, too. I know what you’re thinking. Hello! This is parenting 101! Just separate them!

Here’s the kicker…when I separate them, THEY GET UPSET!!! What is that!?

Ok, here’s my story:

We finished school, had a late lunch, and I started doing some work for the hubby on the computer. The girls decided to play a board game. (It’s amazing…the power of suggestion. All I did was take the board games out of the top of the closet and put them out…that tells me I need to put them on a lower shelf so they’re always accessible!) Side note, sorry.

So, I am typing away, trying to encourage the knots in my shoulder and neck to stay far, far away, and I ‘hear’ the girls finish their game (of course, my mom- bionic ears hear everything, whether I want them to or not) and they decide to play the Wii.

Then it starts.

They start to ‘whisper argue’ as I call it, as if I’m not catching the gist of their conversation. Nice try…I caught it alright, as the muscles in my neck and shoulders tighten their grip. Then, because neither one of them is relenting, it becomes an ‘I’m-trying-to-be-nice-but-she-is-not-listening’ voice. Now at this point, sometimes I can simply say, “GIRLS?” sternly, and the subject either gets changed, or they decide it’s not worth the trouble and they move on, allowing the angry neck and shoulder muscles to surrender their grip of death.

But then, there are the ‘OTHER TIMES’. The times where neither one of their sturdy spirits are willing to give in to the other. The times where each party is so sure that her point is valid, and worth standing up for that instead of the white flag of surrender, they are willing to stand back-to-back, walk ten paces, turn and fire, sending my neck and shoulders to the slaughter for sacrifice.

This was one of THOSE times.

“That’s it! I am done listening to this!” (I know, I sound like a genius.) Now for my all-time famous line…Oh, I know, you’re just bursting with anticipation! (*enter facetious tone here* ‘What could this brilliant home-schooling momma of 3 possibly say to top all of that!’) Well, I’m a pretty logical person. I like to say things to my kids that make sense, and give them words that I won’t have to eat later…too many emotional calories. They’re getting older, and they’re smart little people. I’m here to promote change in behavior, right? Well, if I’m going to change the behavior, I can’t just run with ‘that’s it, I am done listening to this’! I had to save myself! So, out came this one:

“You don’t live in a home where your parents bicker, do you?” The inevitable head shaking from all three of them is almost comical. “Well, then I refuse to live in a home where my children bicker. Since you can’t work it out, put it away. Go do your chores, then go outside and run off some of that fabulous energy.”

There…… that’s better… right? Did I recover?!

After three ‘Yes, ma’am’ ‘s, the smell of all-natural glass cleaner, the sound of rustling garbage bags, and the lifting of my keyboard so the duster could sweep off the computer desk, I had one little girl playing on the swings, one middle girl finding the best place for her ‘pet’ caterpillar and its new habitat that she made out of the largest pickle jar we had, and one big girl in her room playing her guitar and practicing the new songs her dad gave her. Yes!! It worked!!

Here they are right before 'IT' happened, playing a goofy game called 'Headbandz'. And I thought that silly game would be a good topic...

Oh wait… where are they NOW?



As for my shoulders? I made an appointment for a half-hour massage on Friday.

I linked this post to:


9 Responses to “The Good, the Bad, and the Irony of it all”

  1. alice macdougall Says:

    I wish you were around when I was raising 4 kids
    Love your blog

  2. Keri Says:

    I llllove this post Janine – this is some seriously great advice that I will keep with me through this adventure of mommahood. You’re a great friend to me, even though it’s just online. Thanks for sharing your words of mommy wisdom. HUGS from miles – or as your Canadian friends would say kilometres – away!
    Enjoy your massage, you deserve it. Take care momma!

  3. Laura Says:

    My girls are 7 years apart and are as thick as thieves, but the bickering is minimal and then they are back on track. My fav thing is to watch them interact. I am an only child so it is fun to see their close bond.

  4. Liza Says:

    I love “emotional calories.” What a great description! I agree with you – I’m a pretty logical person, too, and plan on not injecting too many emotional calories into my relationship with my due-soon daughter! Great post!

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  5. dianeswords Says:

    I don’t know the age of your kids. but my mom was a master at managing kids–and my kids who are now adults still delight in telling their friends how their grandmother took care of their bickering. she’d give them all a roll of quarters to have. BUT if they started bickering she would tell them that IF she had to come and resolve their problem they’d each have to pay her a quarter to hold court and be the “judge”. it’s amazing how many times the kids were able to come to a quick resolution of their problems. money talks!! have SITS saturday sharefest!!

  6. kerry bakken Says:

    My kids (7 & 4) are just getting to the stage where they bicker–only they don’t whisper, they shout and shout at each other. I separate them, and two minutes later, they’re back together then another two minutes later? Shouting! I can’t wait for this stage to pass. Civility, please!

    Stopping by from SITS.


  7. Momma Mindy Says:

    I felt my neck muscles scrunching up just reading your post. I guess I relate TOO much. 🙂 Very graphic description of a mom’s emotional reaction affecting her physical well-being. Great post, and great way to head off the bickering.

  8. momstheword Says:

    I love what you said about parents not bickering, that is awesome! I have a post coming out pretty soon very similar to this, but basically one of the things we would do is have them sit on the couch and hold hands. No talking. Just holding hands until they could get along.

    Either that or make them work on a chore together. However, your statement sure seemed to do the trick! Thanks for linking up today.

  9. Lesa Says:

    Funny post! I just came home from the grocery store with four of my kids. Decided to de-stress (sooooo needed) by randomly reading blogs. Had to laugh at yours. Thanks for the smile.

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