My children confuse me sometimes. One minute they are playing beautifully imaginative games, making up stories and putting real thought into the characters they create. The next they are hitting each other with light sabres, and crying “He did it”, “No, I didn’t, he hit me first” – and I am weeping into my Tetleys, and praying for bedtime.

Take Snugboy#2. He is at preschool, and is at home with me every morning. And he is a delight. He is kind, thoughtful, funny, generous, helpful… you get the idea. We have a great time together, playing, learning and doing things – and we both love it.

And Snugboy#1. At 6 he is growing into a fine big boy – considerate, hardworking, caring, polite, fun. He never fails to amaze me with his ability to retain knowledge and gives fantastic cuddles.

And they both have a wonderful knack of being able to make me smile when I am sad, or turning tears into laughter.

Individually they are the loveliest children I could ever wish to have. But get them together and they are lucky to go quarter of an hour without fighting about something, which makes them exceedingly hard work at times. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my children more than anything, and really wouldn’t change them, but I do wish they could just get on better sometimes.

I can only put the difference in them when they are together down to some kind of sibling rivalry. Snugboy#2 has a habit of reverting to babyish behaviour when confronted for bad behaviour – but only when he is with Snugboy#1. If he is by himself, there is none of it – on the contrary in fact.There is quite a smal age gap between mine, and I think (hope?) boys are harder work than girls at this age (either that or I really am a terrible mum!)

How do your children act separately compared to together? Is it just mine that vie for attention? Is there a trick to handling it?


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