Nothing scares you more, as a parent, than thinking back to when you were a kid, and knowing what awful stunts you pulled (and probably got away with). What stands out to me is how my brother and I would torture each other when we were little. Siblings do some creepy things, and remembering my bizarre behavior when I was forced to “get along” with my little brother, honestly made me think twice before my partner and I pulled the trigger on having a second child.
A lot of the weird stuff my kids do is disturbing to me, mostly because I’m a grown-up and I know better and social etiquette isn't completely lost on me. They are eight and six, and aggravating each other, pulling pranks on each other, and getting one another in trouble is how they figure out which one of them I love more. No, of course not. That is crazy. However, that is how kids think. Once I calibrate my brain to that setting, I can relax a bit and consider their kooky sibling behavior to be nothing more than totally "normal." I think.
So, just when you think they’ve outgrown the creepy stuff they do as babies, a brother or sister comes in the mix and sh*t gets weird again. Here are the creepy things my kids do, as siblings, which can be adorable but is usually maddening to moms like me, who shy away from absolute chaos and toilet humor.
Talk In A Made-Up Language To Each Other
My children love the spotlight. Their performative tendencies lead them to a lot of imaginary play, and a big part of that is inventing language. I don’t think they are really creating a new syntax as much as they are just talking gibberish to one another, but they get a kick out of it. It’s possible they could be speaking Dothraki and I just don’t know it which, admittedly, would be amazing.
Try On Each Other’s Identities
My daughter loves wearing her little brother’s clothes. My son loves tucking in his sister's baby dolls. It’s eerie how accurate they are in picking up on one another’s defining characteristics and then adopting them, if only for a moment, as their own.
Conspire Against Their Parents
April Fools’ Day was invented for kids to pull one over on their parents, right? My kids love volunteering to make us breakfast that day, and I know, full well, they’re attempting to replace the sugar in my coffee with salt. I call them on it every year, but it never stops them from trying to pull it off. In fact, it is one of the few times they show us they are capable of intra-family teamwork. Maybe I should stop discouraging them from tricking us...
Laugh At Each Other’s Horrible Jokes
My kids think their siblings are hilarious. I often fail to see the humor in a lot of their exchanges, but some random catchphrase has them rolling on the floor when one of them delivers it. I hear twins can crack each other up telepathically. I don’t know if I could handle that next level of creepiness.
Scream In Unison With No Warning
I don’t how this happens, but it happens. One barely opens her mouth, and the other joins her in a bloodcurdling chorus. It's times like these when I wish we lived on a farm, because I just know the neighbors in our building, and out on the street, can hear my kids shrieking about some injustice, like there only being one flavor of ice pop in our freezer. Oh, the horror!
Disappear Behind Closed Doors And Remain Alarmingly Silent
You know it’s trouble when your kids are quiet. Multiply that anxiety by the number of kids you have, and you better see what they’re up to before something explodes.
Wake Up In One Another’s Beds
I have been totally freaked out to find one kid snuggled up in his or her sibling’s bed on a random morning. When did this happen? How could they have possibly slept like that, with the Preschooler smushed in the corner and the toddler on her head?
Outgross Each Other
This is to get their parents’ attention, right? I mean, why else would they hold contests to test their tolerance of eating a nasty mixture of yogurt and condiments, or see how many burps they can let out in a row? Then again, it is about the cheapest form of entertainment I can think of, so maybe I should just let them be and slink out of the room to try to get a little alone time when they start their disgusting competition.
Propose Marriage To Each Other
This always weirded me out, but thankfully my son outgrew it by the time he was five. Until then, he made it pretty clear that he was going to marry his sister (or me). I guess I should credit the older kids on the school bus for setting him straight, because a week into kindergarten, his views about life partnership were radically different.