Stat Boy and OJ are very often at each others throats and constantly sniping at each other. They are the closest in age with only 21 months between them. When OJ was born Stat Boy was completely in love with her. He thought she was beautiful and he showered her with attention, love and the occasional M&M. By the time she turned 1, the magic was over, and it has never been the same.
After our 6th was born, two years ago, I decided I just could not keep up with doing all the dishes after every meal by myself. I finally gave up on my fear of broken dishes and assigned this chore to my two oldest children, then 13 and 11. After a few months, and only a couple broken dishes, I decided Karate Kid could handle doing the dishes on her own and Stat Boy and OJ could pair up and do dishes alternating nights with Karate Kid. To say Stat Boy and OJ balked at the idea would be putting it mildly. It was an all out mutiny of grumbling, complaining, and sniping, but I held my ground. I told them they needed to learn to work together, that in the "real" world they would have to be able to work with all kinds of people without griping and arguing.
Now, nearly a year later, I've noticed I'm not hearing any complaining, sniping or arguing during dish washing. In fact, I've been hearing meaningful conversations between the two former combatants. There is peace and even friendship between the two. Today, I am counting my blessings and celebrating a minor triumph!