I once read somewhere, ‘having one child is parenting, two is refereeing, three and you’re essentially a bouncer’. I just need to ask my aunt who has 6 (5 sons and a daughter) who she has become in her life.
On a normal day, I am constantly handing out death sentences, paroling Kenyans for good behavior, putting others in solitary confinement, but nobody gets out. Ever. Everyone is in for life. The people who live in my house are as violent as any hardcore criminal, I’ve ever seen in action movies. They bite, tear each other’s eyes out (OK, maybe not literally), punch and hit, head-butt, throw cushions, toys, pens at each other, and then proceed to cry and scream as if possessed by a banshee.
I must first listen before I get up to go see what the matter is. If it’s Keyo crying, I call out, ‘Kendi, en ang’o?’ (what is it?) If it’s Kendi crying, I call out, ‘Keyo, stop it. Bi ka‘ (come here) In all honesty, I don’t ever want to know what happened (despite me asking, I think I just ask to pretend I care), I only want peace and quiet. I want sanity in my own home. Is that too much to ask? I’m getting upset now just thinking about all the work I put in tearing my children apart.
Also, sometimes I don’t even call out because the fake crying stops as quickly as it starts. Honestly these children could compete with those footballers in World Cup. Keyo has even taken to lying on the ground, on his back no less, so that he can cry in the most pathetic manner possible. It’s hilarious. And oh-so time consuming for me.
But here’s what I really do believe about siblings (from a sibling point of view obviously, as I’ve never been a parent to siblings till now): Let them fight! The end.
No, but seriously, let children fight. Kendi is bigger than Keyo now and can do some harm. But it still won’t be that bad because she’s only 4, and I don’t have guns in the house. As long as I keep checking on them, they’ll live to see the next day. Kendi doesn’t know something of which I am very clear- Keyo will be bigger than her one day. And on that day, will she truly know who her sibling is.
Also, a lot of fighting is done for my benefit, for attention. If I’m not giving any of the attention then there’s no real fun in fighting. Problem solved.