Opinion

Surrender the safest escape route when sibling wars erupt

AT OUR house, when I fling open the door and burst into one of the kid's bedrooms to break up a fight it's a safe bet I'll hear three words.

Before I even get to ask a question, demand an answer, raise an eyebrow, fold my arms in disgust or make an attempt to hide my shock at the carnage and the state of the carpet (or the wall or the ceiling fan or whatever else got in their way) three words will be thrown at me - "He started it". The only variation will be if it comes from the other side of the room in which case it will be - "She started it".

When I step into a room, all the noise, screaming, banging, teasing and throwing of objects will cease. And as the echoes of the argument hang in the air, the two warring parties will turn to each other before turning to me with the timing of a synchronised swimming team, to stick their arms out, point their fingers at each other and boldly claim in clear, decisive voices - "He/she did it".

So there I stand, with all the respect of a referee who has a history of making questionable calls, left to work out who drew first blood, who to punish and who to kiss better. As a bonus I'm also expected to ensure restitution is made, the mess is cleaned up and peace returned. No problem. No biggie. After I deal with that mess I'll sort out the Taliban and find a parking spot right out front of the supermarket at 5.30pm on a Friday.

Earlier this week, things flared up. When I entered the bedroom where all the action was taking place, two kids quickly piped up that the other one had "started it".

They just don't get it. I don't care who started it. I never care - I just want it to stop.

After some questioning and accusations from them, "Mum it's not fair, you always take his side" and "Yeah mum, like she's not your favourite" I was still no closer to working out what to do about this altercation over iPod earphones. Yep, that's right. World War II had been re-enacted, for the listening pleasure of our neighbours, all because of a pair of lousy earphones.

Two iPod earphones. Identical. One belonging to my eldest. One belonging to my youngest. One set of earphones is broken and each kid claims the broken ones belong to their sibling. Cost of a new pair of earphones? $19.95. Cost of my sanity? Priceless. Only problem was the shops had closed.

What to do? Two kids. One pair of working earphones. Admittedly they were out of reach hanging from one of the ceiling fan blades rotating above my head but that was just a logistical problem to be solved later.

"They're so mine."

"No they're not."

"Give them back."

"No way loser."

As the situation escalated I threw my hands up in defeat and gave them three words of my own - "Go tell dad".

Topics:  family taming, opinion, wendy andrews



Ipswich traffic cops prepared for huge weekend

Senior Sergeant Troy Hamilton is reminding people to drive safely this Christmas period. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

Police out in force as holiday makers come home

West Moreton's $8 million health budget blow out

The latest performance results are out for Ipswich Hospital. Photo in operating theatre.
Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times

Pressure mounts on financially strained service

AWLQ breaks its silence on controversial pound deal

The Ipswich pound and rehoming centre will be run by RSPCA after September 30.

Animal Welfare League Queensland has written a letter to you.

Local Partners

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight

Mahershala Ali in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E2: Code of the Streets review

Simone Missick and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Kim Kardashian West 'sick of talking about Taylor Swift'

Kim Kardashian West is sick of talking about Taylor Swift.

Justin Bieber ordered to attend Miami deposition

Justin Bieber has been ordered to travel to Miami for a deposition

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets