I read a book once where the author stated that her children fought over who would sit at what place setting at the table. How did the kids resolve the problem? They spit on the plate where they wanted to sit. Thankfully, my children have not resorted to that, but Micheline and Caleb do have a running competition going on in almost every topic of their lives. From who gets the front seat in the car, to who gets the bigger bowl of noodles or who ate the last of the chips, their sibling rivalry drones on the background of our lives like never-ending machinery in a factory that is open 24/7.
This morning Jeff set two bowls of oatmeal on the table for breakfast. Micheline instantly ran over to see which bowl she deemed to be superior. Lacking the words to yell out quickly which one she wanted and most likely fearing Caleb would stake his claim first, she yelled out the first thing that came to mind: “Shotgun!” It was both priceless and hilarious and what made it even funnier, was the fact that it was confusing to Caleb. Was this a new English expression he wasn’t familiar with that not only meant you got the front seat of the car, but also meant you could grab the best bowl of food?
I think it is time to implement the technique we used when Nicole, Lynn and Taylor were young. Dividing a candy bar? One cuts, the other picks which half he wants. Dishing up ice cream? One serves the scoops and the other chooses which bowl she prefers. It pretty much guarantees that the one cutting or serving makes them as equal as is humanly possible. I’m not quite sure, however, how yelling “shotgun!” will translate.