Having siblings that are close in age is something that I am personally not familiar with. I've stayed home the last two days all alone, with four kids. I've come to realize just how little I know about living with siblings. I'm finding myself questioning what is normal behavior and what is not. I didn't grow up with an example for how to discipline tattling, teasing and rivalry. I'm left throwing my hands up in the air and saying "Let THEM figure it out!"
I just don't know what to do when Ben is teasing Maris and Maris tattles on Ben. Who's right, who's wrong? Who gets a time out? How do we as parents balance being completely fair with making sure that the most appropriate lessons are learned? What's more... how do I survive? How do I keep my sanity? How do Ben and I not become divided in our parenting?
I read somewhere a family described as a "blending family" because the blending is a process that takes much more than just a wedding ceremony. You can't immediately be a "Blended Family" without putting the work into it. We are a Blending Family. I think we may always be a work in progress. You know, I'm not sure that we ever can or should become completely Blended. We are still two separate families that live under one roof. That doesn't make our love any less, but it does mean we have different histories, different perspectives and some different goals.
This big mess of kids and craziness and dirty socks is EXACTLY what I always dreamed of, though! My kids get what I dreamt of, siblings to play with and argue with.