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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

Yesterday was a rough day. I didn't even get a chance to bore you with a blog. I spent the whole day writing an ebook for a nameless employer for which I will get no credit and very little money. Welcome to the new Internet opportunities.

The poor kids were out of their minds with boredom, but what could I do? I was on deadline.

As I expected, they soon began to misbehave, and when you've got two three year olds, misbehaving means fighting. Usually I step in quite quickly, but as we were home and I was busy, I just let them go, in an experiment of sorts.

It's amazing how long children can fight, and I mean viciously fight, over nothing. They don't even remember the topic after the first two minutes. And they screech and scream and push and bite (usually they don't. Yesterday was...special).

And I got to thinking, what if I just never stepped in? What if I let them go? Would they eventually straighten themselves out and come to a compromise? Would one of them severely injure the other? Would they both survive? Would they get bored of it and just stop?

They don't even know themselves, having never been allowed to just fight it out to the end. In fact, after a few minutes, they came out to me all confused.

"Mama? We fighting."

I look up, harried and dismayed.

"I know, I heard."

"Well...we fighting."

As if they didn't know what step came next in the fight sequence. The only step in their repertoire being that mommy steps in and tells them that good girls don't fight like that.

So, I helped them out.

"Good girls don't fight like that. Please don't bite your sister."

And their day resumed. But what if I didn't? What if it were to become survival of the fittest? Would they band together or fall apart?


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