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Sitting in a tree

One thing that’s remained popular with kids since I was a kid is that taunting song about so and so sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. You know the one that proclaims, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.” At least it teaches something of value I guess. Apparently playground songs have longevity, and I’m noticing in stores lately that acid washed jeans do, too. Who’d have thunk it?

During the car ride home from school, I have heard my kids and some of their neighbor friends (also siblings) taunt each other with this aggravating song that I once sang along to during double dutch. I have time and time again asked them to, “Please, stop”, but apparently this song doesn’t go away. A few other things straight out of my childhood that I have noticed retaining popularity amongst siblings are: Elementary banter about boyfriends and girlfriends, the battle of top potty talker, incessant tattling on one another, never ending competitions in every subject under the sun, and arguing. Oh, the arguing...pick, pick, pick, pick, pick.

There’s only so much nagging a parent can do to put a temporary halt to these things once they get fired up. Not all things are meant for time outs, grounding, and revocation of privileges. I believe a little sibling rivalry is good for the lifeblood of a family. When my parents, siblings, and I gather with our spouses in tow (which is rare these days) the stories of all of these things from our childhood are often laid out by my siblings along with the Thanksgiving feast for us all to laugh about, and you bet I dish it right back to them, too. Siblings are great at knowing one another’s every little pet peeve and how to pick at them like irritating scabs. Those scabs become memories which are later shared as seemingly notorious stories.

Years into the future when my dear son and daughter are betrothed to the gal or guy they’d been sitting in a tree kissing we will gather around a Thanksgiving feast, open the sibling archives, and reminisce on the car rides home from school, the hellacious homework hour, and more. Don’t get me wrong we will definitely recollect the good stuff, too, as it definitely outweighs these things. This negative stuff is just so funny when you really step back and dissect it. When we have that feast I’m sure there will be some sibling rivalry over the wishbone and the last piece of coveted pumpkin pie.