The other day Middle Child realized that he was missing $20. He came to me and explained what had happened.
"I had it in my pocket last week and put it on my bathroom counter and left it there for probably five days. Now it's missing. I know Baby took it."
Whenever he loses something he instantly blames his brothers. After fighting with the brother and waiting a few hours it almost never fails to show up somewhere in his room.
Once again i explained to him that he can't blame anyone for taking his money. He didn't see Baby or anyone else take the money, and he left it out in plain sight. I listed all the people that had been through the house in the last five days and the list was full of kids his age and younger. A $20 bill left laying around is just too tempting. He went and searched his room. He came back up and complained again that he couldn't find it and that Baby must have taken it.
A little later when I was coming down the hall to where the kids were I heard Baby insisting that he "didn't take it!"
"Don't you dare blame anyone!" I told him. "I really don't think he took it and you left it laying around. Hopefully you'll learn to put your money away."
Throughout the day when I would wander into a room where both the boys were it would be the same situation; Middle Child blaming Baby for the loss of his money and Baby vehemently denying the charge. This pretty much went on all day long.
That night they finally quit fighting about the money and we all sat down to dinner. After dinner Olaf told the boys to fill the bird feeder. They don't mind doing that so they hurried out to fill it up.
When we sent the kids to bed a little later Middle Child came storming back up the stairs and down the hall, "Mom! Come see what Baby did to my bed!"
Sigh and Groan. "Can you just tell me?"
"He put bird food in my bed!"
I turned to Baby and exasperatedly asked, "Why did you put bird food in his bed? You know that's wrong."
"I was just so sick and tired of him blaming me for taking him money. I just got so mad I couldn't help myself."
I was completely fed up with the fighting over the money and looked at Middle Child and said, "You pretty much deserved that. Take care of it yourself. Maybe next time you won't blame anyone."
But Olaf heard what was going on and he came out and said "Two wrongs don't make a right. Baby go clean up the bird food right now."
Sometimes I get so tired of the same fights that it's good to have Olaf around. By the end of the night the Referee needs to be replaced.