Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Brothers

 


My boys have had their days. One bugs the other regularly. They get along, share, then they have their disagreements. A few minutes later they make up and are friends again and of course the cycle repeats itself…and repeats itself a few more times throughout the day. I notice more on the weekends because they haven’t had their “break” from one another. During the week Little Brother goes to his preschool program, which he loves and does not allow anyone to call it day care so we all say school. He wants to be just like his brother.

Once Big Brother gets on the bus in the morning it’s time to get Little Brother up and ready. Once or twice a week Little Brother acts like a teenager in the morning and refuses to get out of bed. All we have to do is say, “ Well, ok then, no school for you today,” and he’s up and rushing to get dressed in a heartbeat. That’s how I know he loves “school.”

Saturday the brothers took their time getting me into the role of referee. On a really good day we might go until lunch before I have to play the, “you share, keeping it fair, probably losing my hair,” game of mommyhood. On what we may call a rough day I haven’t washed the sleep out of my eyes when I hear, “No, I was in the bathroom first!”

That sentence signals that within seconds of them waking up and doing what anyone does first thing in the morning they have already fallen into a dispute. Those mornings it continues to the breakfast table.

For example, I make two identical plates. They fight over who is sitting in front of the ‘better’ plate. I must have lost my awesome kid vision because all I see is identical eggs in equal amounts; exactly two pieces of bacon, and toast cut the same way. They see that one of them is not getting the fair treatment and will always believe it is himself. I try not to laugh because I was that way once, or so I’m told. If I make a plain cereal breakfast they fight over who gets which bowl. We use plastic bowls that are all the same and before I can argue my point that it is the same cereal and same bowls they fight over spoons!

Let’s not forget that if it isn’t about food it will be about chairs. You get the idea of how it goes for the days that start out like that. Luckily for me it is usually a happy medium where the referee gets time off throughout the day. I’m so used to their quarrels that I spent Sunday completely floored by their behavior.

All day long their kindness and patience with each other kept topping the previous act. That morning they watched their cartoons sitting on the couch together while I cooked breakfast with no fights. They sat at the table and ate. We relaxed for a while before going to Cornwall. In the car Little Brother dropped his toy car and Big Brother reached over to pick it up and hand it back to him. When Little Brother was done taking a drink from his juice box, Big Brother put it in the cup holder for him. We had Chinese food for lunch and the boys ate good and sat through the meal like angels. At the mall they pretty much stuck together and waited for the other to catch up instead of the usual game of “first.” Little Brother used the handicap buttons to open the doors for us.

We surprised them and stopped by the playground at the civic park since it was a nice day for being outside. I actually was able to sit on a bench and watch them run around playing together. Big Brother waited for Little Brother to run up the steps and encouraged him to try to slide down the big covered slide. The first two times Little Brother was kind of scared but by the third time my husband and I could hear Big Brother say, “It’s ok, sit behind me, I’ll go first and you can hang on to my shirt, ok?”

We heard Little Brother reply, “otay,” then finally he went down the big scary dark slide. He was so proud! Big Brother patted him on the shoulder before telling him to follow him. It was what Little Brother had been waiting for.

Usually Big Brother runs away from him as fast as he can and doesn’t want to be bothered by a baby. My husband and I could just ‘oooh’ and ‘awww’ over this new friendship between brothers. Little Brother is finally big enough to almost keep up with Big Brother and can listen now. If Big Brother politely asks for a toy not to be touched it will stay put.

After we were all done our errands and the kids were played out we headed home. The boys continued to get along once we got home. Big Brother didn’t shut the door to his bedroom. Little Brother was welcomed to play with the forbidden cars and watch television like he was one of Big Brother’s friends and not a pain. This just melted my heart.

Bedtime drew near and Big Brother was such a good little host; he put on one of Little Brother’s ‘Thomas the Train’ DVDs in his room. Not long after Big Brother came out to let us know Little Brother had fallen asleep. The whole day they got along, right up until Little Brother crashed out. For one day they didn’t act like each other’s nemesis, but brothers.

 

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