Love + Hate

Owen and James hit each other when angry—sometimes with their hands and sometimes with objects, like their wooden trains. We have a zero-tolerance policy re hitting. They know this but still—still—it’s something we’re working on.

Sophie is old enough to know that hitting is absolutely not allowed. Still, I watch her sometimes, so angry with her brothers. She balls up her fists and shakes—shakes with anger, shakes with the restraint necessary not to hit them.

It can be so hard, being 5 years old and 3 years old, living in the same house.

But as much as they hate, they love. They love. Like patiently help each other across the shake-shake bridge at the park love. And fall on the floor crying if they think we’re leaving one behind love. And get so incredibly excited when the other one gets to put a sticker on his potty chart love.

And then there was Sophie’s love, today.

We’ve been struggling, discipline-wise, with Owen for several weeks now. Punishments simply don’t faze him. We have to work hard to find a consequence that will make him understand the severity of his actions. Most recently, we throw a piece of Halloween candy away for each major infraction (such as hitting). Today, he lost six pieces of candy for various infractions, five at one time (it was a bad one).

Sophie was extremely upset by this (even though half the time she was the one being hit). She couldn’t bear the thought of him losing candy. Whereas a time-out was often plenty enough for her, she didn’t understand that for Owen, it wasn’t.

And so that is how I caught her sneaking some of her own candy, from her own Halloween bag, into Owen’s.

When my three children are angry with each other, the whole world knows it. And yet, like much of life, their love for each other is so much quieter—and so much bigger.

They love.

They hate.

But ultimately, they love.

“The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.” —Elie Wiesel

Links I Love

This short film, about an abandoned piano in New York City by Anthony Sherin, is lovely. (Thanks, Mom, for sending it to me.)

• Two of my friends recently wrote (and published!) books. For two great reads, check out Jordan Rosenfeld’s Forged in Grace and Brian A. Klems’s hilarious Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl. (And if you don’t already read The Life of Dad, check it out. It’s one of my favorite parenting blogs.)

• Imagine a World Without Hate.

• A pretty (and inexpensive) polka dot scarf.

• I love forsythia. This simple forsythia branch craft for children is a really cute spring craft.

• I’ve lately been loving this mom-focused fashion blog. Both the posts and the comments have given me a ton of ideas and tips for a stomach post-twins.

• Speaking of soft bellies, this is the first essay I’ve read about the subject that I haven’t rolled my eyes at (thank you, Kelly, for sharing).

mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com is a photo essay that will leave you in tears—I made it about three-quarters of the way through before Andy looked over at me wondering why I was sobbing during the OSU basketball game. I need moments like this, though, to remind me of the beauty of life.

Bunny Bookends.

• Smoky Sweet Potato and Apple Soup—this is really delicious.

• Supposedly the only existing film images of Anne Frank (yet another reason why I love the Internet).

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” —Anne Frank