I never got one.
Why did he get one and I didn’t?
Hey I never got to go first yet?
Your breakfast smells.
That’s’ my book.
Do these phrases sound familiar parents?
In our house these and more are yelled out daily and in varying degrees of anger, sadness and bitterness.
It’s just part of the war of words in the great battle of siblings and in our case, brothers.
I have lived through it already. I have a younger sister. I can recall the same silly fights over everything from who got to sit in the front seat of the car to who got the last juicebox (this time). Remember the imaginary line in the back seat of the car? Yep, it’s a battle.
But I can’t recall the crazy competition with my sister that I am witnessing with our boys. Is it a brother vs. brother thing? They literally compete and fight over everything. Who goes in the door first. Who goes up the stairs first. I hope this is not how it all started on Bloodline.
Who wears what socks. Who gets dressed first. Who gets the last of dinner that they were not going to eat in the first place.
I am sure I am forgetting a pile of silly arguments.
It’s like all we have to do is tell one kid the other is going to eat veggies and go to bed early and the other will already being chowing down on broccoli and putting on pyjamas. It’s crazy.
For those who don’t know, our boys are almost seven and almost four, but most of the time we are kind of dealing with two four-year olds. Why? Because that is where they seem to meet mentally. One gets pulled up, the other pulled down. But as you can guess and I know first hand, the youngest kid can always play the I’m the baby card and lose their shit to the point where there is no rebuttal. Check mate.
The older kid always is expected to take the high road, be the bigger person and accept the loss. It’s just easier for a parent to go that way. I know, I was an older kid. Harry has to put up with a lot of “unfair” and I get his frustration.
I also find it hard and unfair sometimes for Charlie because he is still going through many of the firsts in life that his older brother as already had. First orientation at school, first time playing organized sports and so on. But Harry just never seems to let Charlie have that spot light for very long. Is it envy? I don’t think so. It feels more like simple I used to have all the attention and bit by bit it’s going away.
Like I have said more than once, as an older kid I can relate for sure. But at the same time I wish it was easy to explain to Harry all the perks of being the older kid. He will appreciate it one day I know it.
It’s becoming very hard to find common things we can all do because they fight and bicker like only brothers can. They are also not at the age where they can both just figure it out on their own.
Is this probably true of girls as well. Probably. But I have zero experience raising girls. I will leave it to those people to chime in. Comparing stories with friends who only have girls, the battle stories seem similar.
Don’t get me wrong, our two get a long great. They love each other. They have a bond that is way tighter than parent-kid makeup. They look out for each other and make up stories to conspire against us and they truly enjoy playing with each other. Until they don’t.
Then we need to step in and move everyone to their separate corners like a referee in a boxing match.
Charlie knows how to push his big brother’s buttons. Harry knows exactly what toy to start playing with to enrage Charlie’s jealousy. It’s a cat and mouse game where neither are the cat nor the mouse.
It makes our days pretty tiring. Weekends are chalk full of little moments when they are the best of brothers and they turn into sworn enemies in a blink of an eye.
But when you do try to enter the battle, they go back to being on the same side for the greater good of continuing what ever caper they were up to.
There are of course benefits to all this. Charlie’s reading, talking and overall learning is on a much faster track than Harry. But it’s because of Harry. He is everything Charlie wants to be. So that means skipping the little kid books and staring over young reader books instead.
We pretty much got to skip Thomas the Train and all the other young kid shows because Charlie pretty much watches Harry’s shows. Except that damn Paw Patrol.
When it comes to food, sadly the brothers McCusden stick together in their hatred of everything that is not related to a chicken strip or includes the word bacon.
Charlie used to eat a lot of different things. But Harry doesn’t. So, well you can see where that went.
We are due for a change in the force very soon. Charlie is becoming his own person. He is a three-year old that is ready to be 10. They will both be at big school in the fall. They will start to separate and have their own lives a little more. They will have their own friends. They will meet at home and enjoy each other’s time.
In a few years when they are nine and six, I hope they still enjoy playing with each other. I can see sports being a bonding activity. I can see TV shows starting to splinter and they like totally different things. That’s cool.
I can see the biggest competitions being about food. Not attention from us. They will want to know who is eating the last burger before they even take the first bite.
There will be fights that will reach blows. They will be arguments that reach intense yelling. There will be sneaky moves to beat the other when it comes to numerous areas in their lives.
But they will also be hyper-protective of each other. They will look out for each other. They will be excited to see each other like no other person. It’s so cool to see the bond tighten by the day.
We remain the referee to a degree, but as time goes on, they take on more of the role for each other. Then we become the observers, the listeners and the supporters.
The silly fights we are going through right now are paving the way for a solid relationship later.
They could have zero interest in each other at this age. I am so happy that is not true.
Brothers are a special type of relationship. One I can say I never had growing up. Yes I have brother-like people in my life, but it’s not blood like Harry and Charlie. They are in it for the long game. They will always have each other, in the good and the bad. I hope in 20 years they are still fighting over food, who will win the big game and then hugging it out with pure love. That is what we are raising them to be.
They are the best. I can’t wait for the rest.