As I sit here shortly after coming home from work, my home seems to feel as if I am in a lion’s Den.
In this moment, I try to find some way to center myself before having yet another family meeting about yet another fight between the girls, this time involving violence.
I’m immediately triggered because I remember too many outright fist, nail, hair pulling fights between my older sister and I. They were brutal. She was usually the instigator, even going so far as to throw a Ghostbusters toy car at my face once, leaving a giant gash in my nose that required stitches. We had fought over how to discipline my younger brother, since all of my sisters and I were like second moms to them. They coined that term themselves.
We had nobody watching us at the time, my mom claims my dad was supposed to be, but I remember having to call my uncle Ken to take me to an urgent care. I remember the Betadine and the blue cloth over my face. I remember feeling the needle over and over poking my open wound to numb it, and I remember the tug of the stitching on my skin. I had a scar for years that was very visible, and now I have to point it out for anyone to see it. Those were great times – Sitting in the tub after a nail fight, feeling the stings all over my body.
My dad was so upset with our fighting one day that he required us to hold onto a dish towel, her holding one end and me the other, for a full day. We had to use the bathroom together and everything. Apparently it was supposed to teach us to get along, but the future ahead of us would behold more fights, even into adulthood, landing me in jail once for defending myself, yet again.
I’m not a violent person. My sister has a proven track record that she is. She’s improved, and for that I’m grateful.
Thinking back on these experiences and how upsetting it is to see a would be trend between my girls, I’m having a hard time deciding what to articulate to them.
They are all already grounded from their phones for another two weeks. No data, no apps, no nothing. I could keep adding time, but I feel like it’s no longer having an effect.
Hard, manual labor? Maybe, but they’ll just start wailing and throwing even bigger fits and require more discipline.
I think I’m just going to have to resort to what works best: The “I’m disappointed in you speech” in the calmest voice I can muster, then tell them they get the joy of being conjoined twins for the rest of the night while doing homework, walking the dog, etc. That’ll learn ’em!