Sibling Rivalry

Ahhh, so the reality is that I have two kids.  One kid has two legs, is taller than me, speaks English and is sliding deep into the drama that is teen years.  The other kid has four legs, weighs about 7lbs, is just under 6 months old and is deep into the throws of puppydom.

And these two…oh these two!

Yappy is a puppy; he does puppy stuff.  In the last week he has chewed through 3 cords (electrical tape is sooooo important in Casa d’ABM), shredded a new roll of toilet paper and created a full on lair under my bed. He is maniacal in his endless puppy enthusiasm.  I relish in coming home to Yappy because when I walk through the door, he acts like I hung the sun and the moon, and I am the best thing that has happened to him…ever! And his cuddles.  Sigh! I loves me some Yappy.

I loves me some Hope too, of course.  Hope has recently decided that she is not checking for Yappy though.  He’s cute (adorbs!) when he wants to play, but when he chews on things she has left out…well, he is enemy number one.

Today she managed to spill a bunch of Mike and Ikes on the floor.  Yappy thought God sent manna from doggy-heaven and ran to gobble what he could before being scolded.

I found some…um…some of Hope’s unmentionables in Yappy’s lair recently, a reminder that Hope needs to  deep clean and scrub tidy her room.

Yappy destroyed all the aces in Hope’s new deck of cards that she left on the living room floor.  Not sure how he did that but he was proud of himself (frankly so was I); Hope was furious!

And to top it off, he loves me more.  Heck I feed him, train him, snuggle with him and take him for long walks.  Yappy runs to me for EVERYTHING. And I love it.  It’s unfortunate that Hope’s impatience means that Yappy’s attachment to me exclusively will only grow over time, but selfishly, I’m about that puppy adoration life.  Hope and I can get rather frosty sometimes.  Yappy never gives me the cold shoulder.

Elihu says I’m more patient with Yappy than I am with Hope.  Honestly, he’s probably right.  I totally understand what puppies do and why they do it. I don’t understand this teen thing at all.  Not one bit. Totally foreign and infuriating sometimes.

I’m hoping that in time Hope will come around to understanding that this is life with a puppy.  Puppy proofing is necessary, as is good consistent correction.  That good, consistent love and correction is good for both my fur baby and my teen, equally.

But for now, the daily sibling squabbles continue–only Yappy doesn’t realize that he and Hope are squabbling.



About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. Β©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

8 responses to “Sibling Rivalry

  • Jackie

    I’m quite impressed he managed to chew the aces only. I think you have a prodigy on your hands.

    Have you ever read an article about how teens brains work different than ours due to what is and isn’t developed? It’s pretty interesting stuff and explains so much. Unfortunately it doesn’t make their behavior any less frustrating.

    I’m about to nerd out on you and share some links and excerpts because I love this topic and am not ready to roll out of bed yet. (Explains why I chose psychology, eh?) Please feel free to ignore them all. 😊
    “”The last place to be connected β€” to be fully myelinated β€” is the front of your brain,” Jensen says. “And what’s in the front? Your prefrontal cortex and your frontal cortex. These are areas where we have insight, empathy, these executive functions such as impulse control, risk-taking behavior.”
    “Lower activity in the frontal lobe could lead to poor control over behavior and emotions, while an overactive amygdala may be associated with high levels of emotional arousal and reactionary decision-making.”
    “While oxytocin is often described as the “bonding hormone,” increased sensitivity to its effects in the limbic system has also been linked to feeling self-consciousness, making an adolescent truly feel like everyone is watching him or her.”

    This one isn’t as smooth of a read…
    “Several lines of evidence suggest that the brain circuitry involved in emotional responses is changing during the teen years. Functional brain imaging studies, for example, suggest that the responses of teens to emotionally loaded images and situations are heightened relative to younger children and adults. The brain changes underlying these patterns involve brain centers and signaling molecules that are part of the reward system with which the brain motivates behavior. These age-related changes shape how much different parts of the brain are activated in response to experience, and in terms of behavior, the urgency and intensity of emotional reactions.”

  • Caitlin

    Hahaha, we are in the throes of puppydom as well. Sometimes, I can’t figure out where all of her ridiculous terrorizing energy comes from. The rest of the time, she is so cute and snuggly. Good luck with both your babies!

  • The Truth about Yappy | AdoptiveBlackMom

    […] I wrote a couple of months ago that I seemingly had more patience with Yappy than with Hope, which is the source of much rivalry between the two. My patience is running out with both of these characters!Β  It’s one thing to have a surly teenager who has some post-trauma, psycho-social issues. It’s another thing to have that and a cute but unwieldly puppy running wild. […]

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