I think it’s funny when people ask me how we’re doing now that Tim and I are officially outnumbered by kids. Because I stay home with the kids, I’ve been outnumbered by kids for 3 years now. What’s one more? (I just made parenting 3 kids sound easy…it’s so not!)
I actually don’t feel outnumbered by the kids. They have yet to learn the art of ganging up on mom to get what they want. Instead, they play “Good Kid, Bad Kid”!
Generally how it works is that one kid decides to be particularly naughty — sasses, argues with me, refuses to do what she’s being told to do, or throws a temper tantrum — and it immediately results in the other kid being so unbelievably sweet and helpful. For example, this morning Abbi decided to grow a set of little red horns and become super argumentative and talk back to me because she broke something on her bike and I couldn’t fix it right away for her. Off she went for a time-out in her bedroom. Minutes later Zoe comes in with her eyes batting and a sweet little smile on her face, “Mommy, I cleaned up all the toys outside for you! Are you so happy?” Then she asked what else she could do.
Would Zoe have reacted this way if Abbi weren’t in trouble? Three years of parenting both of these girls tells me no. Zoe is laying on the sweetness extra thick because her sister is in trouble. It happens the other way around, too. Actually it’s usually the other way around — Abbi plays the ‘good kid’ and Zoe plays the ‘bad kid’ roles.
It’s such an interesting behavior to watch. I wonder if this happens because the one child doesn’t want to get into trouble like the other child and sees that mom’s already agitated. Or maybe they see this an opportunity to be the shining star.
But it’s not always ‘Good Kid, Bad Kid’ in the house. Quite often it is ‘Bad Kid, Bad Kid’! Oh yes, we often have it where the horns grow on both kids and they just feed off each other’s naughtyness!
The funny thing is….I have yet to have
a day a moment where it’s ‘Good Kid, Good Kid’!
Do you notice this with your kids?