One typically noisy night, Son #1 and Son #2 ran from room to room screaming at the top of their lungs. From time to time, my husband and I would separate the children. We doled out punishments and sent them to their rooms several times. Still like two strong magnets, the children were drawn back to each other and their ongoing brawl.
Son #1 screamed. "Get out of my room!!!"
Son #2 kicked his brother's door and yelled. "Popen da door!!!"
"Leave your brother alone!" I ordered as I marched my youngest son to the living room. One minute of silence passed. Then, my oldest son charged from his room to the living room and tackled his younger brother. Son #2 wailed in despair as he cried out. "Brudder hurt me! I so sad!"
"Son!" I said irritably. "That was really mean. You need to say sorry!"
"But I didn't do anything!" My oldest son replied.
"You just tackled your brother. Go say sorry!" I demanded.
Son #1 put his younger brother in head lock and muttered. "Sorry."
"That is not the way you say sorry. Give him a hug and kiss and say sorry like you mean it!" I commanded.
Son #1 gave Son #2 a gentle hug and kiss. "Sorry Bro." He said with sincerity.
Son #2 hugged his older brother back for a brief moment but then screamed in anger. "Don't touch me!!!" His little fists beat his older brother's back.
Now, Son #1 was crying. I glared at both of my boys. "Little Son! That is not the way you accept an apology. You go say sorry right now!"
Son #2's lip quivered. Then, he broke out into a sob. "I sorry." He said as his lips trembled.
"You guys need to hug." I said crisply. The boys hugged tenderly. "Give each other a kiss." I instructed. Son #1 and Son #2 kissed each other on the cheek. "O.K. You guys need to stop fighting. You need to love each other. You guys are brothers and when you grow up you'll be best friends. Treat your brother with kindness." I lectured as both boys wiped their tears. "You can go play."
The boys scampered off to their rooms. Two minutes passed before screaming could be heard from the hallway. Then, two wild minions whizzed by my legs while pummeling each other. "I thought I told you guys to stop fighting!" I yelled. "Fine! I've had it! One of you is going in the bath!"
Quickly, I chased after the two Tasmanian Devils. Son #1 raced ahead of his younger brother to his room. He scurried inside and slammed the door shut. Son #2 was not as wily and I was able to scoop him up into my arms. Son #2 did not give up so easily, though. He hollered. "Put me down!" I ignored his complaints and swung him around like Superman. This caused my youngest son to laugh. I continued to zoom around the house as we made our way to the bathroom. Son #2 squealed with delight. "Again! Again! I flying!!!"
If only, I had the strength and energy to swing my children around the house all day. They would never have time to fight. I guess I'll have to take Popeye's advice and eat my spinach.