This is my little sister. This photograph was taken not long after she arrived off the red-eye flight from Perth – she met Rohan for the first time on collapsing into bed with he and I for a brief shut-eye before the other two woke up and jumped all over her. (All that to explain why they all look like such ragamuffins – though honestly my kids always look like ragamuffins. Anyone know how I can get Finn to stop chewing on his damn necklines?!)

There are three years and eight months between she and I. Almost the same gap as between Finn and Niamh. When we were kids, we fought like demons about everything. I seem to remember getting in trouble a lot for things that she did, though I’m sure there were times when the opposite was true. There have been some pretty dreadful arguments even now we’re (supposedly) adults. The worst time was when we attempted to share a house together. It’s probably lucky Dermot was around or we may not have come out of that one intact. Our relationship remains rollercoaster-like, but we do (mostly!) love each other. My kids adore her, and I love that. Living on opposite sides of the country is possibly a good thing though :giggle:

I’m also living on the other side of the experience now… Finn and Niamh are as bad as my sister and I were. Maybe worse? There are times of wonderful playing-togetherness, but it tends to fall apart in the end, because Finn likes to set rules and then police them, whereas Niamh likes to set different tules and then completely and utterly ignore all of the rules!

Since Rohan was born there has been a subtle positive shift in the brother-sister dynamics – there is a little bit more of an ‘us and him’ feeling. But I wonder how that’s going to all play out once he’s a bit older and wanting to join in with the big kids.

I’m experiencing sudden empathy for my mother, and wondering how I can help these two grow into a better relationship. Parts of the school break were hard. I never wanted to be that parent who breathed a huge sigh of relief when term started, but I have to admit, yesterday I did just that. We all seem to do better when these two spend a significant part of the day apart from each other.

9 responses to “Siblingness

  1. I breathed that same sigh, and I don’t think that makes us bad mothers.

    I like the routine.

  2. My Dad just LOVES to tell me what a bitch sister I was to the younger two which might have been true SOMETIMES but not ALWAYS. I am therefore trying to emphasise for my two the good stuff in their relationship! Seems to work, they mostly get on quite nicely, and I do adore how there is this special brothers world of in-jokes and rules and references that only they get. But like you, I am enjoying some nice peace and quiet now.

    With my other siblings I love them no matter how much they annoy me, and that is a very special thing in its own way!

  3. I’m waiting for the day when I can *sigh*. My children are off almost three months for summer break. I’m counting down the days, hours and minutes until structure returns to our home.

    My girls fight all the time and I too feel empathy for my parents!


  4. Its good for them to spend time apart, cause it makes being together a bit easier. Im Sooo glad school is back! 😛 for my sanity!

  5. Sibling relationships can be tough I reckon…

    I had an horrific relationship with my older brother from day one.. still not fab to this day. I worry for my small boy because breaking into the twin-ness is probably never going to happen, so he’ll always be on the outer, always ganged up on… but then we all grow and learn and change and I’m hoping my kids will learn empathy and understanding and share the love… maybe…?

  6. Hi Mel, thanks for your message, quite exciting for me to get a comment! 🙂 . My sister and I fought all the time when we were kids and I remember vowing that I would NEVER be her friend – but we actually get along really as adults.
    Thinking of yarn for your ripple blanket, I’ve been using the Panda magnum soft for a crochet blanket and am finding it very soft (and not expensive), but depends if you mind using acrylic… (I always drool over the Rowan colours on the Attic24 blog – there is no way I could ever afford them!)

  7. I have a sis in perth and one in adelaide. The images in our house are very similar. Off the red eye, down the highway (3.5 extra hours) straight into the arms of loud squashy kids, the type that have no clues on “space and face”. I think sibling rivalry is pretty normal, all giggles in our house end in tears and I can still remember bashing my sister over the head with a saucepan!! She survived and backed off (I think I won that one!). I do love them very much now that I don’t live with them x

  8. Oh boy, I can relate to that post. All of it. From the sister relationship to the kids fighting. Bad thing is, as my third has got older, despite the six year age gap between she and number two – they now fight as much as the older two. God help me! And God bless my mother for all she had to contend with when we were kids!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog.

  9. I found your lovely blog through curlypops.
    I could soooo relate to your post.
    My sis lives in Brisbane and flies down to squish kisses from my kids too. My kids are Finn and Kierah, her son is Rohnan and I haven’t figured out how to get my daughter to love my son like I do. But I probably never will. Because I always had…and probably always will have the best love/hate relationship with all my siblings. (: