Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom

Shari Popejoy

Throwback Thursdays

November 1, 2014

Sibling Rivalry: See How They Love One Another!

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Written by: Cheryl Oberdieck
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“Five Kids, Two Dogs, and a Man of the Cloth,” by Cheryl Oberdieck



few Sundays ago I had the rare treat of having all of my chickadees home. Since the oldest two are out of the nest, it has become more of a challenge to get together, and it was the first time we had all been home since Christmas.

Jonathan brought his girlfriend to meet the family – I give her points for bravery! I hear that he especially prepped her for meeting his sister Katy. Katy did not disappoint. She had well prepared for her brother’s “roast.”

My two oldest kids have always been the fiercest of competitors, and since I homeschooled them together in many subjects, it actually served both of them well academically. However the rivalry started off early and was not always academic.

At ages 2 and 4.

Katy has taken to calling Jonathan “Jonny.”

He corrects her every time. “My name is Jonathan!”

Katy: “Jonnnnny!!”

Jonathan: My name is JONATHAN!

Katy: “Jonny, no argue me!”

A few weeks later, he had a better idea:

Jonathan is teaching Katy to call him “sir.” Whenever she says “yes” or “no” to him, he always corrects her with a “yes sir!” or “no sir!” I guess he gets tired of being called Jonny.

The following insult from my 4 year old puzzled me a bit though. Overheard from the next room.

“Katy, you are stomach acid!”

(Sometimes the boy was a bit of a geek.)

Jonathan was more plainly spoken though at 10 years old when he wrote in his autobiography:

2 katy bday

In 1995 my sister Katy was born. I liked to hold her when she was a cute sleeping baby, but now she has become a huge pest.

However, all it took was a common enemy (usually me!) for them to team up.

We are not going to story hour at the library today. Jonathan is spending the rest of his life in time-out. Katy, knowing big brother is in trouble, went and put herself in time-out with him.

Vegetables could even be the common enemy.

Before I served the kids their macaroni and cheese, I was “mean mommy” making them finish their salads. When they finally did, Jonathan said “give me five, Katy!” But their arms were way too short to meet across the table, so Jonathan walked all the way around the table to give her a high five. Then he returned to his chair and they went about their business of eating their macaroni and cheese.

They also teamed up when they had to face common fears, such as loud scary noises like the lawn mower.

little tike car

Mowed the backyard today. The first 20 minutes or so, Jonathan and Katy sat in the Little Tikes car together in the garage and Jonathan comforted his sister by holding his hands over Katy’s ears to keep her from crying.

Or even more scary, such as walking up all the way in front of church to hear their Daddy give the children’s message!

Katy went up to the children’s sermon for the first time on Sunday. She hesitated in the aisle until Dave told her to come on up. She huddled next to Jonathan who put his arm around her and gave her a few kisses to tell her all was okay. She sat there very still and wide-eyed the whole time. Then when they got back to the pew, everything was normal again and they started fussing with each other.

The next Sunday. The kids were much better in church today. They both went up to the children’s sermon again. When I asked Katy if she wanted to go up, she said “Jonny too” and went up holding his hand all the way.

A week or two ago, both my older children happened to call me at the same time and I found myself in a three way call. As usual, it wasn’t very long before they got into a debate about one thing or another. So I put my phone on mute, turned the sound down low and picked back up with teaching my 9 year old.  After a while of ignoring them in the background, my attention was drawn back when one of the kids said my name.

Worried voice: “Do you think Mom heard that?”  (Long pause.) “Okay, I guess not. Hang up and I’ll call you back.” As in days of old, they didn’t want me to overhear. But 20 years later, I am more than fine with that!

crumby cake kids

Sharing a cake pan. And happily removing chocolate frosting from his sister’s face!

About the Author

Cheryl Oberdieck
Lutheran pastor's wife and Army chaplain's wife (same man!) Homeschooling mom of three and occasional young adult consultant for two more. Homeschool group drama department interim co-chair, (cause “president” sounds too scary). Youth group leader, computer IT guy, church historian and honorary trustee. Wannabe gardener. Most importantly, a redeemed by the blood of Jesus, daughter of the King who spends an inordinate amount of time learning, and re-learning what it means to walk in God's grace!


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