Tuesday, October 25, 2016

One-Sided Sibling Rivalry

I'm not sure why we decided to start Jordan in piano lessons when she was in first grade, but we did. Wasn't I the one who mentioned not too long ago, that we were overwhelmed with our already busy schedule? Again, maybe it had something to do with that damn Jones family. We found the sweetest, most patient instructor in our neighborhood, so at least we didn't have to travel a long distance to get to the lessons.

Jordan enjoyed learning how to play. Initially we had to limit the amount of time she spent practicing because she would do whatever it took to avoid hitting the wrong notes.

Even as Jordan became more confident and more capable, she continued to have an attitude towards her younger sister, Kayla. When Kayla would walk into the room Jordan would instantly yell “Get out!” or “Go away!.” Then there was the “Kaylaaaaaaaaaa” which she stretched out for a good 5 seconds. She may as well have said “Kayla, I really don't like you.”

Although this scenario didn't happen often, sometimes Jordan would actually push Kayla's face away from her, by pressing on her cheek. It was gentle, but she would physically move Kayla's head. Um... no. I talked to Jordan about how it might feel if she had an older sister who tried to make her sad all the time. I wasn't positive if she understood what I was saying, or if she had the ability to empathize, but I had to say something. And after this type of conversation with me, Jordan would get very upset. It was almost as if she didn't like to think of herself as someone who treated her sister so awfully.

Even back then, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. I was fully aware that sibling rivalry was normal. But clearly, I had trouble tolerating blatant disrespect and well... meanness. It drove me nuts. Kayla didn't ask for it, or deserve it. I would have loved for Kayla to "give it back" a little bit, but at this point in their lives she was young, and she didn't.

There were a few times when Kayla didn't need to do, or say anything to get back at Jordan. One time all it took was Jordan having the opportunity to watch Kayla play and have fun with a friend. Jordan longingly looked into Kayla's room, and very dramatically uttered (I assume for my benefit): “I hope Kayla remembers me the way she did, before she hated me.”

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. ;)

Thank you.

Us Too

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