Never sleep with your back to the door

The Younger went to bed last night clutching a small car that his brother was trying to get from him. It’s the two-year-old version of sleeping with a shiv: If you can’t trust the guy in your cell block, never let your hands off your valuables.

This week has been a never-ending parade of the toddler saying he likes his little toy, The Elder snatching it for sport, the toddler committing assault and The Elder crying out in shock and plotting his retaliation.

The holidays should be a delight.

I’ve read “Siblings Without Rivalry,” but that doesn’t seem to apply to this situation since that book involves, you know, talking and stuff. This is closer to combat on the front lines. Toys flying, sneak attacks, Trojan horse maneuvers, double crying jags.

These boys are clever, and lately, they only have eyes for each other’s toys.

Luckily, their parents have some military maneuvers of their own. Our favorite is currently divide and conquer: One goes upstairs, one goes downstairs, each with a parent chaperone. Everyone calms down.

And Mommy retreats to read “The Art of War.”—Jillian O’Connor

What do you do when your kids go at it?