Anyone who has a brother or sister knows that all siblings fight. It is a natural phenomenon that occurs in every multi-child household. No matter how close the siblings are, how much they love each other, or how hard we as parents work to make sure everything is fair and equal between them, they are going to fight. And kids can find some of the darndest things to fight over.
They may fight over who sits where in the car, who got the most ice-cream in their bowl, or which one is responsible for the sharks you found drawn in permanent ink on the bathroom door. It’s guaranteed they will find SOMETHING to fight over.
In our house, it is “The Fancy Spoon”.
Now, you might imagine a very valuable, rare, solid gold spoon, or one with detailed engravings and scrollwork on its stem. Or even a special spoon that is only used on rare occassions…..but… truth is…the “fancy spoon”…… is just an ordinary spoon that we somehow wound up with at our house. It was probably left by accident by someone at our latest family gathering. It is a plain ordinary spoon with a “wooden” handle… That’s it. No fancy scrollwork, no gold, no special occasions… nada……. but it has been deemed the “fancy spoon” by my youngest two…. and for them…that spoon is the most coveted thing in our house.
I really should just get rid of the spoon. That spoon has caused more arguing, trickery, and deceipt than it is worth. Who would have thought that one spoon could cause so much trouble? I mean…..it’s a SPOON for crying out loud!!
The Spoon turned up at our house one day after a family holiday. As I served the kids their breakfast, Emily, the youngest, looked at her brother and said “ooooh look! I got a fancy spoon.” Little did I know these words would kick off a private war between the two of them. A few days later, over yogurt, Emily once again wound up with the fancy spoon. Spencer said it was his turn to eat with the fancy spoon, but Emily had already claimed it as hers, licking the spoon to insure that it would not be taken from her. I told Spencer maybe next time, he can use that spoon. Emily took great delight in eating her yogurt with the Fancy Spoon, taking her sweet time and being sure to wave the spoon around in the air, drawing Spencer’s unwilling gaze over and over to the coveted spoon.
IT WAS ON!
It then became a battle between them, who would get to use the spoon. One morning in particular, Spencer managed to snag the fancy spoon for himself, and was holding a spoon out for Emily to use. She ignored his outstretched hand, and snatched the fancy spoon away from him, deciding to take the spoon by force. I had to step in that morning and make Emily give the spoon back. She, of course, then refused to eat and went to school without any breakfast that day.
Please keep in mind, they normally do not ever behave so aggressively. They really are mild mannered children.
But something about that spoon brings out the worst in them.
-It should be called the “Devil” Spoon-
The weeks that followed led to more and more strategic moves by them, each one determined to out do the other. It became a race, and sometimes battle, who would set the table when they are called down to meals. Each one hoping to find the fancy spoon in the drawer and set it by their plate. The spoon has gone missing a couple of times only to turn up at mealtime by one or the other, suddenly remembering they “accidentally” put it in the wrong drawer.
That spoon has caused me more headaches than I care to recall.
Maybe for Christmas I should get them each a set of “fancy spoons” and end the fight once and for all.
Then again, I shudder to think what they might find to fight over next.