Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Brotherly Love

I understand from my own experience growing up, brothers and sisters have a dog cat relationship. There may be siblings out there who regard each other with mutual respect, but most of my own life, children see the pecking order, and if they're lower down, they want higher up. If they're higher up, they want to keep everyone else lower down.

Son A wants eggs. Son B owns a skillet.  He refuses to share. I agree, his skillet, his rules.  He (Skillet boy), then offers to help Son A, but only if he's allowed to cook.  Son A refuses.  Son B in an odd show of charity, gets out the ingredients, the butter and as he calls it, the older carton of eggs.  His brother should ONLY use the older carton. He explains to me that I really shouldn't let Son A cook.  I ignore.  He suggest Son A will get hurt.  I ignore again.  Son A gets out the other skillet and cuts some butter. I sense a trap.  The four eggs in the carton are hard Skillet Boy's heart.  I consider switching the eggs to pull one over on Son B but opt to get out the proper eggs instead and tell Son B, if he complains about his brother again, he's going to lose out on all the not hard boiled eggs.  

When the sole goal is to make sure you look good or at least better than your brother or sister, even virtue becomes a battlefield.   "I did the dishes."  Sister says.

"Oh yeah?"  Brother turns, scheming, how to come out smelling better, "Well, I agreed to clean the basement."  That works the first time it's tried, but after that, everyone knows it's put up or shut up, promises don't count.  

So you get minute by minute up to the second updates of how kid A is doing so much more work than  Kid B that really, you should just pack Kid B up for someone else's home, or you should send Kid A out to a hammock, bring him a fifteen foot meatball sub and a soda and make Kid B work sun up to sundown until the age of sixty-five.

Corrective measures, even well meant at the start, become fighting grounds for proving one's greatness as versus the other.  "Pick up the markers..." one child barked.  "They're not mine." the other countered and continued making an illustration on a dry erase board.  "They're under your chair." He pointed.

"So? I'm drawing."  She explained they weren't dry erase markers so it wasn't her problem.  He picked them up but not before erasing the head off her drawing.   Having to calm a daughter's irritation at his willful desecration of her artwork, I did fire off a warning to both.

"See the task, be the task." and "It's no virtue to destroy someone's emotional mood because they don't do what you say."   "But Mom, the markers would have dried out."

"So you wouldn't pick them up to prevent that from happening?"
Cue silence.  

No one it seems, is more interested in protecting the actual markers than proving they're the more virtuous person of good intentions.

So when my daughter opted to make cup cakes and said brother wanted to help decorate, I had reservations.   Since he doesn't eat frosting, why would he want to put frosting on the cupcakes?

So the man boy could custom make the desserts and let us all know his true feelings for his sister. Each of the cupcakes had a frowny face  like this:  :(     Alternatively, they had a tongue sticking out like this:   :p   and lastly, in case we somehow missed the point of his efforts, one cupcake had "X's" for the eyes, indicating the face was dead.

But I've promised parity.  His sister will get to frost the cupcakes for his birthday which is coming up.  I foresee a lot of pink glitter and sparkles in his future.  Should be a memorable party.

1 comment:

Vicki DePalma said...
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