Financial Fisticuffs

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I tend to take advice from those who have trod the path before. So when I had dinner with Kim, who you know from the podcast, the other day I watched as her two youngest sons tried to maim and destroy each other. She has four boys in total, and is raising them single-handedly and doing a stellar job of it.

She took a sip from her wine, as the drama in the next room began to escalate. When I asked her what she did when her boys started beating each other up, she rolled her eye and told me she ignores it.

Now my boys have begun to behave appallingly to each other. Sly middle fingers stuck up at each other. Mouthing “Fuck you” t each other. Tripping each other over when they walk past. Annoying little stuff and the occasional large brawl. And while Horatio has brute force in his corner, Jack is very fast and can be quite vicious. And then there is me, providing a soundtrack to the chaos by adding in random yells.

I am one of five siblings. I know the drill. You develop a signature move which you can trot out in your physical defence. Mine was a horsey bite. Even if you were wearing a wetsuit under a medieval jousting suit, I would be able to make contact somewhere. Maybe even on your neck…

Although I find the whole thing very stressful, I have taken a leaf out of Kim’s book and have forced myself to ignore the shenanigans. I now ask them to take it outside, or into either of their bedrooms as I do not appreciate it. (Really, I am trying my hardest not to yell SHUT THE FUCK UP THE BOTH OF YOU before bursting into years.)

Deep breath Mrs. Woog….

And you want to know something? IT IS WORKING PEOPLE! Without the power of a hysterical audience member, where is the carrot? But then there was yesterday afternoon…..

One of my kids is a spender while the other is a saver. And one of them is a thief because someone keeps taking money out of my wallet and it ain’t Mr. Woog because he is away all week. Anyway, some of his business acumen has rubbed off onto one of the boys.

SCENE

One brother asks the other one if he can borrow five bucks.

The other brother agrees, saying he needs to be paid back on Thursday, but the payment needs to be six bucks, due to interest.

The first brother protests.

The second brother increases the payment to seven dollars.

Then things move in slow motion as the brothers take flight, in and around their house, out onto their street where a punch up begins.

Exhausted, despondent and fed up, the mother pours a large slug of Vodka over ice, adds lime and soda and takes her refreshing drink into the bedroom and tries to think of a sure-fire plan to catch the thief.

I often wonder if I am doing long-standing and detrimental damage to them.

How do you deal with sibling fisticuffs?

And I am still working out a way to catch the thief. Taking suggestions now!