Sisters: peleas y travesuras

Carlos has just as many siblings as I do but he knows nothing about sibling rivalry. His brother and sister are much older than him so a good amount of his childhood was spent almost like a single child.

I, on the other hand, was born in the middle of an older sister and a younger sister. This usually meant that when we went to war, (which we did often), I always had an ally. My older sister and younger sister never teamed up together – that’s the benefit, (and injustice, depending on which side you fall), of being one of three.

Now as a mother of two boys I sometimes try to view their relationship from their perspective as siblings. Two brothers means there are no allies – it’s direct one-on-one combat – At least it keeps things fair?

When the boys fight, I usually turn a blind eye and let them work it out on their own, knowing it’s just one of those things siblings do, but Carlos considers this “American parenting” and will have none of it. When the boys fight, Carlos takes action. “Ey! You’re brothers! What’s wrong with you? Brothers don’t act like that!”

“Yes, yes they do,” I say to myself as I watch Carlos force them into a stiff-armed hug under threat of the chancla. Carlos’s heart is in the right place, but I think sometimes you just have to let them work it out by themselves. Conflict management skills come in handy in the real world anyway, verdad?

The funny thing is, when our hijos “fight” – their acts of revenge aren’t even that bad. The things they do to each other are fairly innocent compared to what my sisters and I did to each other when we were all under the same roof. Our youngest son has erased his older brother’s user account on a video game. Our older son has hidden a toy from his younger brother – That is usually as far as it goes.

Some of the routine things we did to each other as sisters included:

• Insisting our little sister was adopted until she cried.
• Turning out the lights and terrorizing our little sister with scary monster noises.
• Locking each other out of the house.
• Stealing our older sisters clothing/perfume/jewelry.
• and, picking up the phone while our older sister was talking to a boyfriend and saying things about her that would humiliate her.

When my mother left our older sister in charge, it was time for our older sister to get revenge. My little sister and I usually ended up locking ourselves in the bathroom so she couldn’t beat the crap out of us for all the things we’d done to her during the week.

Our older sister had one boyfriend in particular that we didn’t like. My little sister and I took some dinner rolls and drew wings on them with a marker, then we chucked them at him from the next room. (Not sure why we bothered to draw wings. It was creative cruelty.)

Then there was the Thanksgiving my family will always remember. At the table my older sister kept putting her finger in my face and doing the “I’m not touching you” thing. Being someone who values their personal space, I warned her that if she didn’t stop, she would be sorry. Of course she did it again. I grabbed her shirt collar in one hand and punched her in the face with the other. She got a bloody nose and I broke a necklace she was wearing. My mother cried because she envisioned a Martha Stewart-esque meal. (Sorry, Mom.)

My older sister had to put up with a lot from us two, but she’d get a break once in awhile when my little sister and I got into our own battles. One time my little sister stole a book from me. She ran to her room with it and locked her door. I kicked her door so hard I made a hole in it. She also did this to my door on one occasion. I think that was the same day she threw an iron at my head. My little sister also chewed up the feet on my Barbies multiple times – They were so deformed they couldn’t even wear their high heels.

This all sounds dysfunctional written out like this, but I’m pretty sure it’s normal. There was a lot of fighting, cruel pranks and rivalry, but we loved each other and still do. The good memories far outweigh the bad, and I love having two sisters, (even though I once told them I’d trade them both in for a brother.)

Posted on January 24, 2011, in Familia, humor, nostalgia. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. jajajajja oh the good ol’ days…my brother and i use to beat the crap out of each other daily! Our most recent fight… last summer (yes we were adults too) uncluded him getting out of the car 3 hours away from home…because he couldn’t be around me anymore lol… there are four of us…and its usually this brother and my little sister against me and my youngest brother lol..funn times!

  2. Tracy, this was hilarious…and yeah a little dysfunctional-sounding, but I can totally relate! Here I am someone who once broke a glass bowl on my little brother’s head, who constantly framed him for the things I did, and my parents always bought it, who convinced more than one of my younger siblings that they were adopted and made them cry…and let’s not forget the banana split a-lo-guey incident, lol! We were seven kids in my house all pretty close in age so there was very much opportunity for alliances and revenge against one another. Being the middle child, I could always go on either side, usually siding with the group that most benefited me. I think all the fighting was good for us, but I also remember my parents doing what Carlos does. Even now, me and my wife always tell Edgar the same thing when he is fighting with any of his cousins, “you’re family. Like it or not! And family doesn’t act like that. Go apologize now!” And of course the chanclazo always comes up, LOL

    Gracias por las memorias :-)

  3. I was the oldest with two sisters AND a brother and it was kind of like your family where the girls would just tear into each other. My mom used to say “You wanna fight?” and then she’d make us go in the backyard and tell us “Okay, fight now.” Standing face to face with the expectations laying right there in front of us, we could never do it.
    My kids are almost five years apart (so not much of a fair fight) so when things would get heated, I would sit them nose to nose and say “When I die, this is the only person in the world who is going to love you!” and then they’d both be crying. =) GUILT! hahah!

  4. Buenísimo tu post Tracey! Me and my sister are 6 years apart, so there was a lot of ignoring each other (on my side mostly) because we were on such different etapas de la vida. I actually tried to get my own room once because I could not share with her anymore, “es lo peor que me podían hacer”, so I grabbed my colchón and stereo and there I go the studio. Of course, 5 minutes later I am dragging them back because mi Papá would not have it. Just like your Carlos says: “somos hermanas, y las hermanas deben quererse”.

    Now, I am soooo fortunate to have the best relationship with my Sisterna.
    We even write our blog together and it´s a blast. :)
    Thank God for siblings!

    • Sharing a room was difficult sometimes! Eventually we got our own room though and we sort of missed each other. I remember one Christmas our parents bought us these telephones so we could call each other in our bedrooms at night. (It worked more like a walkie-talkie – we couldn’t call outside of the house, but it was very cool.)

      I’m glad you and your sister have such a great relationship. It’s really special :)

  5. ah…. women…:)
    my brother and i had our moments, too.

  6. Bueno, es como si las hubieras cambiado por un esposo, ¿no?

    • No, el esposo no me cambiado mucho. Creciendo a adulto me cambiado – y más, la responsibilidad de ser madre. Todos tenemos nuestros indiscreciones juveniles, sí?

  7. I don’t remember a lot of fighting between my brother, sister, and me. I do remember chewing on the feet of my Barbies though.

  8. oh, so totally! I’m the oldest of 3 sisters, and then there’s a huge space between us and our two brothers (so the boys were non-issues). And the middle sis and I used to GO. AT. IT. I once kicked her in the face because she was trying to break my arm over the arm of a chair. Over a TV remote dispute. Whoops. But now we are best friends and never fight. Then there’s the “little” one. We used to trap her in a refrigerator box turned upright and then turn out all the lights and make creepy sounds. Poor kid. And she’s the one who can still get me all bothered today. Actually took a solemn vow before God that with his help I wasn’t going to raise my voice with her any more. It’s been 2 years. And I’ve been sorely tempted. We just come at life from two opposing corners of the world.

    But, yeah, when the twins go at it, it’s not nearly so heated or mean. And they’re roughly the same size, so I figure “work it out”… though I have been guilty of the Carlos-type lecture “you guys are brothers, and that’s your best friend right there. what are you doing?” Heh.

    • ROFL!! I love that it was like a WWF wrestling match over a TV remote dispute. Some of the things that seem so important turn out to be so petty looking back.

      As for siblings, it’s funny how we’re raised in the same house by the same parents and under the same conditions, but we can turn out so completely DIFFERENT!

  9. What would life be like without sibling fights? Boring! My sister, 4 years my elder, and I used to fight all the time, especially as she became a teenager and no longer wanted anything to do with her little sis. Oh, the fights! Nos jalabamos los pelos hasta el piso!! Ouch! Just thinking about it hurts! Our biggest fights had to do with her “borrowing” my clothes or shoes without permission and then finding the way to always ruin them! I hated her so much for that! Today, she’s my best friend in the world, and I actually moved my entire family from Miami to Denver to be close to her!

    My little bro and I didn’t fight that much, but I was pretty mean to him telling him stuff like that I was “leaving” the fam (even packing a bag and all) because he was so mean to me!! Pobrecito!

    Not really looking forward to my own children’s fights (they’re still too little), but I guess it’s part of having siblings!

    • The clothes/shoe fights were some of the worst. LOL. I think that each of us sisters can STILL remember at least one thing we loved that the other borrowed without permission and ruined!

      That being said, as you noted, these fights don’t spell out doom for the sibling relationship. My sisters and I are super close, just as you are with yours. (Let that be hope to anyone worried about their kids not getting along!)

  10. Being the younger of three sisters gave me the advantage in my house. I was always protected by the older one as I provoked the middle one to no end,lol. They were closer in age and went at without my help anyway, so I mostly just tried to keep the peace, but we weren’t allowed to lay hands on each other. We would bicker and argue for days but we just didn’t physically go at it. We were too frightened of Mom, lol. I agree arguing is normal, but I don’t want to listen to it, so I usually send the kids outside or to their rooms. Don’t know if that’s the technique recommended by the pros, but it’s how I roll.

    • Yes – this did happen on occasion, (oldest protecting youngest), but not as much at our house.

      As for not wanting to listen to the bickering – I’m totally with you on that. I usually let them work it out, but sometimes I send them to go work it out SOMEWHERE ELSE. lol… Sometimes that’s enough to make them stop because they don’t want to leave the common area of the house.

  11. My husband INSISTS that sibling squabbling is normal, but I’m with Carlos on this one.

    It tears my heart apart when they fight, and I don’t think it’s right. I will not let my boys yell at each other, be cruel or duke it out. My home mantra is “You don’t have to like each other, but you HAVE TO BE NICE!”

    Me and my sister were always friends(and still are). I simply can’t imagine how terrible childhood would have been without us getting along.

    • The arguments are funny to look back on and fist fights aside, we loved each other (still do – very close all 3 of us!) and have fond memories of childhood. If you and your sister didn’t argue as children that is very rare!

  12. I understand Carlos idea. But I think if you had more than two kids, or if you weren’t home a lot, it would be hard to enforce.
    Our house rule was: no one is in trouble unless mom has to get involved. If we sorted out the argument amongst ourselves (even if it ended with black eyes and bloody noses) it was cool. If mom had to intervene, watch out because everyone was gonna get it!
    We were four kids, our mom, plus my mom’s best friend and her three kids all living together. Our moms cleaned houses together during the day, and all seven of us stayed home together. We fought a lot, but mostly physically. We weren’t malicious or hurtful in an emotional sense. And really, amazingly, we did get along, and work out our differences, and learn to be tolerant, and all those good things that are life skills we still have today.

    • That household sounds like it would have been a lot of fun, LOL. I agree that living with many people and figuring out how to get along is REALLY valuable in life.

  13. I was an only child…so I feel like Carlos does on this one…I don’t get all the fighting that goes on between the children. My husband, though, thinks it’s normal since he grew up with a sister and a brother…so we usually end up fighting over whether the children should be fighting or not. Now I know that’s not in the parenting books!

  14. I was born 7,9, & 11 years after my 3 older brothers. You might think I escaped torture. I didn’t. My youngest brother seemed to hate me because I came along and ruined him being the baby. And I was a girl which my mom wanted so very much. Talk about revenge. He took judo. Practiced on me. Karate. Practiced on me. He would tickle me ’till I cried/laughed. My greatest revenge was to train my body to not be tickleish. It was awesome. Now my kids try to tickle me and hate the fact they can’t do it.

    I love the bloody nose at Thanksgiving. lol.

  15. oh goodness! My brother and I were pretty tame. We got into little fist fights sometimes but I was always stronger. We called a truce when I was about nine. That was just physical fighting though. We were both sensitive kids and would end up crying after the fight and blubber apologies to each other “I’m so sorry I hit you, that probably hurt! I love you!” We were weird kids.

  16. Yep, this all sounds familiar. I too, used to lock myself in the bathroom to escape the wrath of my older sister, lol! Then of course there was the time that my younger sister Tracy was chasing me with a toad, so I locked her out of the house. She responded by punching her hand through one of the glass window panes in the door in order to unlock it. I think she was about 6 yrs old. There are countless other similar stories. You’re perfectly normal ;)…at least in my family! jaja!

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