I was pregnant for 3 years. I’m not crazy; my uterus just forgot to put up the closed sign. If I could go back and space my kids out a few years, I wouldn’t do it. I love the togetherness that having them so close creates. They go through stuff together, they never feel like they are alone, and when push comes to shove, they always have each other’s backs. They can fight with each other, but nobody else can!
My kids are girl, boy, girl. They are all within 5 pounds and 2 inches of each other. The oldest is the littlest and the youngest is the biggest. They all wear the same size shoes (only I try not to make my son wear the pink high heels very often), the same size coats (again with the pink), and the same sized clothes. Of course my son has his own everything, but the girls seem mostly content to combine wardrobes and accessories.
They are exactly different in every other way. My son, Dawson, is content. He is slow to anger, quick to do what he is told, and pretty much stays out of the girl’s way. He is my easy one. My oldest, Aspen, has the “I’m the boss of you” mentality. While my son is okay with her bossing him, my youngest, Winter, is not. She has the “You ARE NOT my boss” mentality. These two personalities are like oil and water. They fight over the stupidest things. My youngest must dream of ways to upset the oldest at night. She is pretty creative. Of course Aspen knows everything. As big sister, that is her job. Winter thinks she is an idiot. As little sister, that is her job. It is also her job to embarrass, pick on, make fun of, and thoroughly annoy Aspen. Some days I feel like I should be allowed a fancy little black and white striped uniform like the ref’s wear. Or probably that would just make me look like a Zebra. On second thought, nix the whole uniform idea.
I have tried explaining to my minis that they should be each other’s best friends. They should love each other and help each other. I tried to tell them that having a sibling this close is a good thing. They laughed at me. I tried to convince them that they are a team and together they can do anything. They set out to prove me wrong.
There is only one thing left to try. I need to show them. How to do that when my siblings and I do not have that close, fuzzy, loving relationship? We are content to only speak to each other when necessary, happy to only see each other once a year on Thanksgiving, and find it perfectly acceptable to ignore each other 364 days a year. We love each other, but I’m not sure we like each other. We have nothing except our Mother in common, and I question that connection on a regular basis. So, I need to find another way to show my kids that siblings matter.
Enter my team building exercises idea. This can be tweeked and twitched to fit any combination of siblings. There are multiple websites with ideas and team building activities for all different age groups. There are activities that can teach them to rely on each other in order to complete a task and games that can teach them to trust each other. Most of them are fun after you get past the yelling and screaming at each other and get to the giggling, laughing, working together part. It isn’t a punishment, it’s a game. That seems to make a difference. I’m fond of the 3 legged race activities and using that same principal with their hands. I make the girls go about their normal evening routine holding hands. Have you ever tried to eat or wash dishes holding hands with someone? It isn’t easy. Have you ever tried to fall back and have someone catch you that you had just called a stupid head? That isn’t easy either! Here are a few examples of team building activities for kids that will help build togetherness.
I like to challenge the kids to think outside the box for a solution. Slowly but surely I am teaching these hot headed girls of mine that they are a team for life. That they can always depend on each other, no matter the circumstance. I am teaching them that where one has a weakness the other shines. If all else fails I will tie them together and make them hug for an eternity!