Foes and ‘bros

I get the feeling my sons already know this

I get the feeling my sons already know this

My two sons are now 7 and 5. Despite frequently giving me ulcers with their antics, they are generally very well-behaved and good-natured boys.

Granted, the elder one’s moodiness can put a girl to shame, while the younger one’s mischievousness is impossible to tame. But those traits, among many others, are exactly what makes them so much fun to watch and interact with.

That is, of course, until they start interacting with each other!

Nothing pleases L more in this life than to see his little brother in misery. He revels in pushing C’s buttons, and knows precisely when and how to do so in order to cause maximum angst.

For instance, travelling in the back seat of the car, the two of them are usually engaged in some silly game such as ‘I Spy’. And whenever he is bored with it, instead of just quitting gracefully, L would decide to rile his younger brother by asking: “Is it a tree? Are you spying with your little eye a tree?

No, it’s not.“, C would reply.

It’s snot? Did you say it’s snot?“, L would slowly begin his torture.

No! I said it’s not a tree! It’s not!

What? It’s snot? You have snot? Aha, C has snot, everyone!

At which point, all hell would break loose in the back seat, and I would desperately try to turn the radio louder from the front seat.

C is certainly no angel himself. The little rascal simply derives no greater joy than from interfering with whatever his big brother is doing.

If L is building Legos, C would edge towards him and intentionally fool around with the instruction booklet. If L is watching TV, C would deliberately turn his stereo system on to full blast, drowning out all TV sound. And if L is on the laptop, C would brusquely stick his head in front of the monitor screen, obstructing all vision.

All these manoeuvres almost always result in a colourful screaming match between the brothers, followed by each stomping off to his own bedroom, sulking, huffing and puffing until their next inevitable confrontation.

Relations between the two can get so tense sometimes that my wife would force them into a room, close the door and demand that they get along in there for an hour without any ‘incident’.

You guys can play games with each other, practice Tae Kwon Do on each other, even just glare at each other. I don’t care! But I want you two to stay in this room and show me you can hang out with each other without fighting!“, my wife would command with her pitiful ‘angry’ voice, before rushing off for a giant bowl of ice cream and some peace & quiet on the iPad. I would by this time, of course, already be out the door with a pair of joggers on.

The endearing thing is, behind that volatile facade, lies a special bond between my two sons. Its manifestation can be so subtle and fleeting that, blink, and you will miss it.

But it shows up clearly in the way they stick up for each other when the chips are down.

It is evident in the way they calm each other down when my temper flares up.

And it is blatantly obvious in the emotion that each shows when the other is in genuine distress, whether from injury, sickness or playground politics.

Whenever I see that special bond between L and C, I often wish I had a brother myself. While I am blessed with a wonderful younger sister, we are 12 years apart. And due to family circumstances, I have mostly assumed the role of a de facto father to her over the years, rather than as a playful brother.

I hope that unique connection between my two sons, the two brothers, develops and strengthens as the years go by. Because, as they grow older, that special bond will be just as important as the one that they will always have with their parents.

Keep on pounding.

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21 thoughts on “Foes and ‘bros

  1. Brenda

    I have two boys 12 and almost 10. The younger has just passed the elder in height. The old is Mr. Temper and the younger Mr. Tears, but they have not slept apart more than 10 days in the last year. When I realized how tall they were going to be, I got them double-sized bunk beds. They each have their own cave now.

    They are tighter than unopened thread, their spiraling bond going around and around, and you can’t even see the inner layers. You are right, your boys are very lucky. And you are lucky to have an awesome hobby. LOL

    Reply
    1. The Jogging Dad Post author

      I can only hope my two boys have what yours already enjoy when they are 10 and 12. More importantly, I hope they keep me in the loop at those ages, instead of thinking I’m not cool to hang out with anymore.

      Reply
      1. Brenda

        They will always love you! Our time now is more targeted, okay, let’s watch a movie together or play a game. They are often off with friends, at sports, at music… but still we find time for each other. I’m sure you will, too.

        Reply
  2. Rachael @ mummyflyingsolo

    I always say boys need brothers more than girls need sisters. Not sure why but I think it is a special bond that is rarely replicated by friendship. They’ll be mates forever. It’s the bomb and must be awesome to see.

    Reply
      1. nancytex2013

        I’m actually not sure gender is the determining factor in how close siblings are as youngsters or how close they remain. I know brothers who can’t stand each other as adults, a carry-over from childhood. And then I look at my girl and boy who couldn’t have been closer buddies, even with the 3.5 year age gap.
        Your boys sound delightful. They are lucky to have each other, and you. 🙂

        Reply
  3. TIA

    My two boys are like this too. They aren’t biological brothers, but are brothers just the same. They are exact opposites. One is sporty and big…a bully if we would allow it. The other is puny and feminine, and doesn’t care for anything sporty. Most days they fight….Some days they’re friends. The tough one can make fun of his girly brother all he wants, but the minute someone else does it……Game on! I too love to watch their interactions. I hope this hard to see love is live long! 🙂

    Reply
  4. pieterk515

    My wife has a theory that every road trip, doesn’t matter the distance, is always an half hour too long. The kids sense the destination and then they loose composure and the back seat is turned into a WWE fighting rink. And I have a pigeon pair!

    Reply

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