I went to war with my Eldest today, and I dare say I won, despite her taking a scorched Earth approach to things. I’m not one for de-escalation, what can I say?

I warned both girls last night before bed that there would be some work to do in the morning. Usually they do personal chores before breakfast, and I make them wait until 9AM till they watch TV for a couple hours while I try to get some serious work done. Since I’ve been sick and mainly incapacitated with the man flu for the weekend, thing have gotten a bit out of control around the house, and I felt it necessary to spend some extra time picking up. So I told them that instead of doing our normal morning routine, we’d be doing some extra cleanup. I figured it appropo in light of the fact that their mother let them get away with it last night.

Sibling rivalry is something that they take very seriously. It’s seriously hard to manage things between the two of them unless I go to great pains to make sure that they’re treated equally, unless one of them take offense and hold it against me. God forbid that I give one of them an extra gram of mac and cheese at dinner. Elder especially has problems considering that I might treat her different than her Younger sister and give her more responsibilities. Trust me, I heard enough about it today.

I spare you the details and just say that it was war from the moment I tried to gently wake her up. She wound up destroying her entire room. Needless to day, I did not even attempt to get any serious work done, as I was prepared to spend my entire day showing her who is boss. I don’t think I’ve ever grounded her before. Usually it’s timeouts or spankings, but today it was no TV, not treats, and no video games. I wouldn’t even let her out to play with her friends. She moaned and moped and wailed and screamed bloody murder, but I held my temper. It was a rough morning.

By the afternoon her tantrums were over. I couldn’t punish Younger since she had seen the writing on the wall and was on good behavior — birth order means something — so I eased up and let Elder do some things in concert with her her sister, and Missus took her out for a shopping trip. So it wasn’t all hell raising. Elder watched a couple Great Courses lectures with me, and even snuggled me, and by then end of the night she was demurely asking me what she wanted me to do. So there’s hope for tomorrow, at least.