December 29, 2008

The Frog

This morning on the way to daycare both boys were sitting in the back seat. I hear Tristan start screaming, "Gog! Gog! Gog!" I have no idea what "gog" is, so I glance back to see if he using his sign language too and, sure enough, he's making the sign for frog.

"Did you see a frog?" I asked, to be sure.

"Dewius! Gog!"

Julius starts laughing maniacally and yells, "Ha Ha HA! I HAVE HIS FRO-O-O-OG!"

I rolled my eyes. I love having two kids, but I am also annoyed by having two kids who fight all the time. I don't understand it and I don't like it. My siblings and I didn't really fight, probably because they were so much older than me. My husband claims, "Boys just fight." Still, I don't get it.

And so I begin with my Annoyed Mommy Voice, "Jules, give him back his frog."

"BOING! BOING! BOING! I'm making it hop!"

Tristan continues to scream, "Gog! Gog! Gog!" and starts doing that I'm-going-to-cry-if-you-don't-give-me-what-I-want shriek.

So I change to my Really Pissed Off Mommy Voice, "Julius! Do you want me to pull the car over?" Dear God, I sound like my mother! At which point I paused to say a quick prayer something like, "God please make me not ever sound like my mother again..." which I followed up by screaming, "JULIUS GIVE THAT FROG BACK TO YOUR BROTHER RIGHT THIS MINUTE!"

"Okay, Mom."

I could feel a little pulsating throb at the side of my head. I resolved that I should eat better and exercise more so I don't have a heart attack this early in my life.

For about 23 seconds there was calm in the back seat and even though God didn't answer my prayer and I still sounded like my mother I knew everything was going to be okay. Until...


"Julius, do you have his frog again??"

His answer was a hesitant, "Well, sort of, but not really..."

"What does that mean? You either have the frog or you don't have the frog."

"Well, yeah... I took it, but there's not really a frog."

I slammed the brakes on in the middle of the road and turned around. "What do you mean there's no frog?"

He shrugged. I looked at Tristan who had his little hands cupped together.

"Tristan, what's in your hands?"


"Can I see your frog?"

And very slowly he turned out his hands to show me. Sure enough, there was nothing there. Nothing! They were fighting over an imaginary frog. They were making me pray to God and make resolutions about my health and slamming my brakes on in the middle of a street when no frog even existed.

For a second I could feel my sanity slide sideways and I had this image from the movie "The Matrix" where Neo is talking to a little savant kid who is bending a spoon with his mind.

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Perhaps that is really the trick of understanding sibling relationships. Siblings fight. It makes me crazy, but that's what they do... fight fight fight over the dumbest, most unimportant stuff.

And all these months I have been trying to figure out why they have to do it and how I can "fix" it. What can I do to make them stop so I can get some peace? Apparently nothing.

Siblings fight when there is something to fight about. And when there is nothing to fight about... they invent frogs.


  1. I'm only laughing so I don't cry, lol. I was driving home from vacation today and there was shrieking and fighting and yelling and whistling coming from the backseat. And I thought 'when they are all grown up, life will be strangely quiet'. I am trying to enjoy it and be here now.

  2. I have those days. People with grown children keep telling me "you need to enjoy it now, you're going to miss this!" Really? Then why does it make me feel like whacking myself in the head with the bread board? :)

    So, yeah, I remind myself of it often too. One trick I do is try to look at it from outside myself and see it from someone else's eyes. Those are the times I REALLY laugh about it. Life is fun.

  3. Maybe to you the bickering is annoying but from 1,900 miles away, not so much ... your redition of the event makes it hysterical!

  4. That sounds too familiar. I've got two kids who fight over everything. About the only thing they haven't fought over is an invisible frog, in fact.

    And my brother and I got along very well.

    It's maddening to deal with such scrapping on a daily basis.

    The Natural State Hawg

  5. Someone once told me, having kids around, is just like a 'revenge' of how you made your parents crazy back in the 'good' old days. Most of us will get through the same process, the yelling, screaming, but eventually, we're going to miss it. =)

    Happy New Year, Wendy. Thanks for sharing this adorable story.

  6. Kids fight because they enjoy it. I took my two waring nieces out to the backyard once when I was sitting them and told them to 'go for it - go on hurt each other - fight!' we all ended up laughing and they got on famously all afternoon...

  7. My mom used to take us out into the yard and "rassle" us around pretty vigorously. It was challenging and hysterical and fun and I can attest that it did work out quite a bit of aggression and was great for bonding.

    Brilliant idea!!


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