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Have a nice day jacket head!

February 2, 2009

by Jen Bakken

Most weekday mornings, I drive my children to school. Sometimes it’s nice for them to arrive a little early and not have to wait in the cold for the bus.

First stop is Delano Middle School to drop off my son, then on to Delano Elementary School to drop off my daughter.

Each time I tell them to “Have a nice day.” Some mornings they tell me to have a nice day too, but on what I call “crabby kid mornings,” they just nod their head.

On the mornings where they are irritated with each other – one never knows what they will say.

Siblings – I suppose they all argue and fight. I remember doing so with my brother and sister. Name calling, teasing, and annoying each other sometimes goes along with the territory.

And now that my children are taking part in sibling skirmishes, I realize how much we must have irritated my parents when we were young.

Now that my oldest is off in college, he isn’t involved in many of these moments, and when he is home he tries to avoid them like the plague. After spending three weeks home during winter break with his arguing brother and sister, he couldn’t wait to return to dorm life.

Though they love each other and one minute can be laughing and playing – the next you wouldn’t think they like each other at all.

It can be enough to cause a parent to wish there were locks on the outside of their bedroom doors.

Many times I have had to send them to their rooms just to separate them. Once, I attempted to force them to make-up with a hug, and let me just say it did not work at all.

They ended up wrestling each other to the floor. Big brother with sister in a headlock, while she used her feet as weapons on his shins.

This mom turned referee was barely strong enough to pull them apart before there was an injury.

The insults and name calling can go on for seemingly ever.

– Dork!

– Jerk!

– Stupid Head!

It’s funny sometimes, because I know they love each other, but the sibling skirmishes still continue. The other morning it started as soon as they woke up.

“Quit making that noise, you’re annoying me!”

“Good, I’m glad because you’re annoying me!”

“Get out of my way!”

“I was here first!”

On and on it went, continuing into the car on the way to school. When I was dropping my son off at school and wished him a good day, his sister chimed in from the back seat with, “Yeah, have a good day, jacket head!”

We looked at her confused, wondering where in the world she came up with “jacket head.” Then we couldn’t help but burst out laughing.

“I don’t know,” she laughed. “It was the first thing that popped in my head – from the back seat I can see his jacket and his head.”

I guess as they grow older, the names they call each other get more insulting and make more sense.

Apparently for my eight-year-old daughter, this is still a work in progress.

As we sat there in front of the middle school, the sibling skirmish immediately came to a halt and we spent minutes in an uncontrollable fit of the giggles.

“Well, mom,” she added. “I guess I just wrote another Tiny Tales.”