Picture the scene - pulling a scrappy two-year-old girl off of her six-year-old brother, out of straight-up fear for his life if nothing else.
You separate them, step away for a minute, only to check back in and find them cuddling on the couch watching cartoons.
Siblings fight, that's nothing new, but it's definitely entertaining to watch.
And I must say, as years pass and they grow closer together, I feel sorry for anyone who tries to cross them.
As often as it seems they'd rather scrape, claw and break any part of each other they can get their little hands on, I'm seeing more and more of a collaborative effort to make everything occur on their terms.
I'm beginning to think that the "fights" are just a ruse to distract us from their master plan to take over the household.
One minute we’ll see screaming, crying and hair pulling, and the next minute the girl will be standing on the boys shoulders on the counter so they are collectively tall enough to reach the candy stash.
*Side note, even though said candy stash gets moved frequently to avoid detection, they still find it without fail. They must have an intelligence agency that actually does its job.
As the days pass, it is becoming apparent that they are developing an "it's them or us" attitude.
Normally, that would be scary to parents, but I think it's teaching them a valuable life skill.
They are learning that sometimes in life, you have to plant your feet and stand strong.
Neither one of them are willing to budge, regardless of how hard we try.
I'm pretty sure that the extremely strong will comes from the wife, but speaking only for myself, I'm proud of it.
Of course, it's frustrating at times, but then I think of all the ways the world is going to try and beat them down throughout the rest of their lives.
They're so young now that they can't possibly understand the trials they will face in a tumultuous world that will be vastly different than what I knew.
It's a common (mis)perception that when kids are quiet, they are up to no good.
That may be the case some of the time, and certainly has been the situation in our house many times, but it's becoming an urban legend.
More often than not, when they're quiet and the wife and I get suspicious enough to sneak in and see what's going on, they are actually getting along.
They work together more than most kids their age, not always for good, but good in this sense is a relative idea.
Page 2 of 2 - The idea of working towards a common goal, despite differences, is an important aspect of growing up.
And though I'm trying to deviate from my pessimistic ways, I can't help but ponder how my kids would fare without my presence.
It seems as if the idea of looking out for each other has a strong overtone in their behavior.
Even when it puts them at odds against each other, they plant their feet, and neither one budges an inch.
Giving up is simply not in their blood. And despite the headaches, stitches, and having to add a monthly budget item for band-aids, that makes for a proud dad.
The real world will chew you up and spit you out faster than you can read the period at the end of this sentence.
I always liked the term "you and yours." It has this unique context to it, a special group or people that really means something. The ones you look out for and the ones that look out for you.
So concerning those two kids of ours, the knowledge that they will never be without a sibling to have their back is not in question.
The cause of the fights among people can really only do two things - drive a wedge or forge a bond.
The latter of the two is obviously preferable, and I think that is what is happening.
It seems that this is mostly because the two are coming to realize that they have a common enemy - mom and dad's rules.
To this I say bring it on, children. Mom and dad are still smarter and stronger, and we will not give up easily.
But then again, we don't have the time to plot and scheme. Well played kids, well played. Just wait until round two. We know where we’ve planted our feet, and mom doesn’t budge, trust me.
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at