Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: "Can you get him off me, Mom?" my husband's cousin's son whined to his mother. We try, we all try, but the truth is, their kid hates our kid.
We know it's not personal -- he's 9 and he just doesn't like 5-year-olds. Frankly, we don't care, although it does make family get-togethers challenging. Whenever the kids are out of sight and silent, my husband and I wonder if the boy is strangling our son. Not that he's known to be violent. Not yet anyway.
On my side, my sister's children are, on average, seven years older than my boys. This creates another unwelcome atmosphere for my 5-year-old who -- of course -- worships them. Now my son is relentless -- he's the Eveready Battery of small mammals. And God bless him, but this makes him even more pesty to pre-teens.
"He won't stop following me around!" I heard one of them whisper to my sister.
So what's a parent to do? The grown-ups want the kids to get along. Why, I'm not exactly sure, except for the assumption that it will be nice for them to be able to be in the same room together when we're all dead. They can sit around at after the funerals, get drunk and reminisce about what good people we were.
Then they'll go wrangle their own kids battling each other in the next room.
|Dani Klein Modisett is the mother of 1-year-old Gideon (pictured) and 5-year-old Gabriel. She is comedy writer/creator/producer of the show "Afterbirth...stories you won't read in Parents magazine." An anthology of stories from this show will be published by St. Martin's Press, in stores in May 2009.|