Orangeboy and his two antagonists are three competitive siblings. They are close in age and each is smart and unique; so maybe this competitive, jealous edge to their every interaction is probably inevitable, but many days I do so wish I knew the magic recipe for creating siblings who are close, loving and supportive with one another - preferrably the less-than-five-ingredients, crockpot version.
During the course of this weekend, Dear Husband and I were both getting fed up with their competitive jealousy. We were particularly irate about a chronic habit possessed by all three children; but the tendency seems particularly strong in the younger two - Orangeboy and Sister. When one of these children is asked to help out with a task or instructed to complete a chore, he or she will immediately ask "What about (the other two)?"
We, their parents, have repeatedly expressed our disdain for this question. We try to make it clear by repeating emphatic slogans, such as:
"It doesn't matter what THEY are doing! I told you to do THIS!"
"You do what you are asked to do and don't worry about what THEY are doing!"
"Do you think you are being treated unfairly?! Too BAD!"
But they are not motivated or intimidated by these slogan campaigns. They want to be good communists who keep tabs on their siblings and make sure others are being responsible citizens, before they exert too much foolish effort of their own. They don't seem to believe that doing their best and setting one's own standard for excellence will get them ahead in life.
But this is not what this posting is about. All that is just to say that the situation can be frustrating and creates some irritation for us parents. And when you add in Orangeboy's ADHD to the situation, he can be the straw that breaks the camels back. And he almost got his own backside broken this morning. After getting very little help from the children all weekend and continually hearing, "What about them? What about them?", their father gave another big motivational speech about independence and personal responsibility which ended by his saying, "When I tell you to do something I don't want to hear you asking what someone else is doing EVER AGAIN!"
This speech occur just yesterday evening. Orangeboy woke up this morning in a typical unbridled ADHD-kinda mood. As he was jumping around and spinning and babbling, I asked him to go ahead and take his medication and vitamins. He began to sing in a mocking, parrot-like voice,
"What about the other two? What about the other two? What about the other two?"
I was pretty incensed, but wow, he is so fortunate that his father had already left the house! See, he needs that ADHD "label". Having that "label" probably saved his scrawny neck this morning.