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Bloody selfish and horrible teenagers, WWYD? Beware - very long!

(61 Posts)
lilibet Wed 05-Dec-12 16:50:33

This is a lot of writing for a problem that would never have occurred if I had done things differently in the past, but as I can't change how I acted then, here goes ...

I have three dc's who last Christmas were 23, 18 and 15. The youngest two are boys. Since they have been born they have had a stocking hung on their bedroom door and it has become tradition that they pile onto our bed on Christmas morning to open their stockings (yes even at those ages!) and it's a really lovely part of Christmas for me, all five of us and three cats on the bed. They don?t each have their 'own' stocking, we have two snowmen and a reindeer and they each have always wanted the reindeer but I have always tried to rotate it. (Yes I know, you?re looking at their ages again to make sure you've read it right!).

Last Christmas Eve Dh and I had the news that Bil's fiancée, age 31 was terminal; we had met her about a dozen times, the children less than that but it was still an awful shock. That evening the boys 18 and 15 fought like two people possessed over the fucking reindeer stocking. I said that dd should have it but still it went on, they both said that it wasn't her turn, I ended up sobbing, dh was shouting that people were dying and did it really matter and it was all dreadful. We went to bed with dd having the reindeer on her door and duly filled the stockings. During the night ds1, changed all the contents so that he had the fucking reindeer, he thought this was bloody hilarious. In the morning I said that this year the boys would not get stockings.

So what do I do? If they don't have stockings they won't come onto our bed and a lovely bit of Christmas will be gone forever. I am reluctant to get new ones as these have been going for years and were bought by their grandmother who is now dead. If I just get the boys new ones, one of the little buggers will swap it in the night and why should dd suffer, it's probably her last Christmas at home as she is moving to Aus in January.

Fuck - what a lot of typing for such a crap and insignificant problem!!

If you've stuck with it so far - thanks

schilke Wed 05-Dec-12 18:32:50

I thought it was quite funny that one of them changed the stockings round in the night blush I really don't think you should be worrying about something a year later. Get new stockings for them all.

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Wed 05-Dec-12 18:58:27

Familt traditions are lovely and its great that your children want to uphold them BUT the two youngest are adult men and they are behaving like indulged tits. I know families have to deal in give and take, but really chocolate
figures?still atn their age? anfd thats how they behave?
I would stick something age appropriate into their stockings instead, ie scratch card/shaving kit/..

lilibet Wed 05-Dec-12 18:59:21

Wow, so many replies, thank you.

I haven't worried about it for a year, I've just bought stuff for stockings and then realised ...

Dh and I also have a stocking, this is a tradition that you never get too old for grin

Glad some of you relate with your brothers, I was an only child, I hate the sibling fighting.

What do you think to getting ones from the pound shop and then filling the real ones on which I have sewn their names, (dd getting theonly reindeer as she's the only girl) so they will be happy when they wake up but won't think of doing the swapping in the night?

lilibet Wed 05-Dec-12 19:00:03

Where did I say they got chocolate figures in their stockings?

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 19:00:16

a cunning plan

HullyEastergully Wed 05-Dec-12 19:01:00

siblings enjoy fighting you know, it makes us feel young agian

GreatUncleEddie Wed 05-Dec-12 19:12:31

I think that is what i would do if they were still children, but they aren't!

sounds like a great idea.

I think I would having enjoyed the "banter" of brothers and sisters for years play a trick on DS1 - in the stocking - because he was one that caused you most grief last year. A cold cooked sprout that he unwraps and has to eat. Then you can fine anyone else in future for "unfamily" like behaviour on Christmas day. I may have spent too much time with rugby players

Thing is your kids are adults now and "punishing" them like I do my 11-8 YOs just isn't going to work.

FredWorms Wed 05-Dec-12 20:24:56

DP is an only and he cannot believe how our 3 fight, he thinks no other children fight like this but, being one of four close in age, I can tell him that they do.We are all in our 40s now and although we no longer fight we do revert to our child-selves when we're all with our parents. It's atrocious really.

Back to the stockings thing, tell them how much it means to you. Tell them how important to you it is that they do this thing without ridiculous squabbles. They're old enough to respect that, surely?

On the other hand I think your pound shop idea is good, go with that if you feel you have to.

Oh dear. I'm sorry about sil, really I am but children (and young adults and even old adults tbh) do stupid things and of course in times of great stress, those stupid things will seem evil and horrible and ungrateful, rather than just stupid.

I actually thought that creeping out and swapping things around was funny, and I do think it's sort of sweet that they still get excited/silly about whether they get a reindeer or a snowman. And tbh dd is hardly 'suffering' by having her presesnts taken out of one stocking and put into another one overnight, is she?

I'd be inclined to say something along the lines of, 'Ok my lovely children. Here's the deal. You will draw lots for who gets the bloody reindeer and beyond that, so long as everybody is polite to each other I don't give a fig which stocking your gifts end up in. I do however give a fig about listening to you moaning, so if anybody moans, you won't get a bloody stocking. The end and merry Christmas.' It really isn't worth such a lot of angst, you know. smile

DewDr0p Wed 05-Dec-12 20:32:40

I'd sit them all down for a team talk, say how disappointed you were by last year's behaviour and how much it upset you and then tell them to come up with a plan that everyone is happy with or there will be no stockings.

I am grin at ledkr and her ds's hairy arses, mine are still little but this will be me in 10 years or so shock oh no that is never going to happen to my little cherubs

motherofluvlies Wed 05-Dec-12 22:08:57

Oh isn't it all part of the tradition!they will tell their children about these you remember the christmas that we......just let it go over your's the pecking order I,m afraid.i,ve just been told that my girl was not allowed to go in their room ,ever and never allowed to touch anything or even breathe she was just grateful to be allowed in the room.She misses them like crazy now they are all gone smile

QuickLookBusy Wed 05-Dec-12 22:17:38

I wouldn't drop the tradition this year. They will always remember the year their mum didn't do stockings and they will remind you of it for years to come. Also you sound as if you don't want to end it really.

I would do what Hully said.

MorrisZapp Wed 05-Dec-12 22:26:51

Trappist monastery. Each year, one monk is allowed to say one thing.

The day comes. Chosen monk says 'the soup is too salty'.

One year later it's the next monk's turn. He says 'the soup tastes fine to me'.

A year goes by. The next monk to speak says 'oh can you just stop arguing!'.

I couldn't think how to include a reindeer.

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 22:31:01

Ahhhhh sibling rivalry at it's best grin

I'm one of four. We had 4 stockings with 4 different characters on and like you they didn't belong to anyone in particular, but we ALL like the gingerbread man one best.

My mum tried her best to rotate the gingerbread man stocking so we all had a turn, but bless her she just couldn't remember from one year to the next whos turn it was. We could of course grin

My littlest sister got the gingerbread man 2 years in a row. And she told told us all first thing on xmas morning before the parents were up, that mum had told her she could have gingerbread man stocking again because she loved her best shock Oh my god hell broke out that year grin

We're still the same (we're all in our 30s) grin

Oblomov Wed 05-Dec-12 22:31:43

Agreed. You clearly don't WANT to stop the stocking tradition, so it just needs to be adapted.

amck5700 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:36:09

I'd get a cheap pair of football socks and a marker pen and write the boys names on one each and get a nice new stocking for your daughter to use and take to Oz with her for next year. Use the others as decorations round the house or put them away as a memory.

QuickLookBusy Wed 05-Dec-12 22:38:21

I bought my DDs the same stockings. However that didn't stop dd1 writing her name on one of them when she was 5. She said she preferred that one, even though they were exactly the same.confused

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 22:41:21

We also had 4 hot water bottles, all with a different Mr Men on which we fought over too.

NOTE TO PARENTS: if you plan on having more than one child ALWAYS buy identical EVERYTHING or there will be arguments.

Although it looks like quicklookbusy's DD has ruined that plan as well. Ah well.

Brycie Wed 05-Dec-12 22:45:38


that's all I have to offer

amck5700 Wed 05-Dec-12 22:49:46

I have two boys and they have never fought over stuff like that. We just bought two different things and told them who's was who's. Not quite sure what we have done wrong or right, presume it is just their nature.

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 22:51:32

Are they competitive in other ways amck5700 ?

amck5700 Wed 05-Dec-12 23:00:25

the elder is a bit competitive - he always wanted to have competitions that he knew he could win (best drawing etc), mainly cos his brother is younger - younger is not competitive though did have a bit of a chip on his shoulder for a while. Don't get me wrong, they do have the odd spat but nothing serious.....and most of the time they choose to share a bedroom even though they have their own.

The Scout leader says it's the first set of brothers she has had that actually want to be together and that will share a tent quite happily - usually brothers don't want their sibling anywhere near. Think it's probably because they are only 13 months apart and they tend to share friends etc. One just gone to High school and youngest desperate to go and interestingly, the eldest is happy to introduce his brother to his new friends and let him join in on their on line gaming sessions etc.

I hope it lasts and they stay friends as adults.

handsandknees Thu 06-Dec-12 01:06:30

Nothing helpful to add but agree that it will become a family story over time. I am an only child and struggle with my own dcs' squabbling but DH is one of 4 and has many tales of this kind. I watch with amazement at family occasions where the 4 of them revert back to 10 year olds.

In my own family we've already had a few of this kind of incident and it looks like we have a few more years of it left! The best one was when we lived in Holland where they do the Sinterklaas tradition of a sweet left in your shoe every night for a week. DS was about 4 at the time - he was so excited that he kept getting up in the night to check his shoe. After a few days of this we were all knackered and DH warned him that if he went downstairs in the night again, he wouldn't get a sweet in his shoe. He did go down, so DH put him back to bed and removed the sweet. We then heard DS sneak down again and realising he had no sweet, stole the one from his sister's shoe, took it back to bed and scoffed it, "hiding" the wrapper down the side of his bed. In the morning DH quickly put another one in DD's shoe - the look on DS's face was priceless, but of course he couldn't say anything!

janeyjampot Thu 06-Dec-12 05:27:44

I think in your position I might ask the children to take over the stockings this year - now that everyone's growing up perhaps we'll take turns to be Santa now etc.

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