The Thing about Siblings

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I remember as a child, hearing a comedy routine by Bill Cosby where he said that you weren’t a real parent until you had more than one child. Oh, but I understand now. With only one child, you have all your love, time, devotion wrapped up in their little body. But when you have two (or four), you are split weighing the good of one against the good of the many. With one child, you never hear, “He’s touching me! He took my toy! He’s doing what you said not to!” You never get to watch the game of “but I’m not touching you…” where they leave their finger a millimeter away from their brother’s head. Fascinating. The dynamic between children is a unique, frustrating and sometimes hilarious riot which I am privileged to witness every day.

If you look up the definition for siblings in the dictionary, it says, “a person’s brother or sister.” I would offer the following modification: “A sibling is someone you have a genetic predisposition to argue and compete with during childhood.” At least this seems to be the case with my two oldest boys. I have never seen two little men with such opposite temperaments. Aaron wants to sleep in, so Aidan gets up at 5:30 and flips the light switch on before he pounces. Aidan wants Aaron to read to him, so Aaron agrees with the stipulation that he must be silent and not touch him. Nice. These boys are so obstinate that they can’t even eat the exact same thing, even if it’s what they so badly want. The other night, my uber-fabulous husband was making home-made bacon-mushroom-cheddar cheeseburgers. AWESOME! The boys love bacon. Adore it. I think if they could, they would arrange a marriage and live happily ever after with it. I called into the playroom to ask them if they wanted bacon on their cheeseburger. Aaron shouted back “Yes!” enthusiastically, and when Aidan couldn’t get his answer out quick enough, he kind of sulked and said, “I guess I’ll have mine on the side.” Seriously. If we grab fast food, then one has a cheeseburger and one has chicken nuggets without fail. But then there’s moments that I catch them dressing themselves alike while they’re arguing over who is allowed to play with Optimus Prime and Megatron. Oh, but forget Devestator, Aidan’s not letting you near that one.

In fact, the only time they agree on anything is to drive us (the parents) insane. Need to be bullied into some wii time? Team up. Need to defend territory against the little tyrant brother (Chase), then team up. But their truce is limited, and soon enough they’re back to arguing again. No argument is too petty. Who goes to school the longest, who gets on the bus first, who gets to go to the doctor, who gets the most one-on-one time, it’s all up for measurement. We carefully keep our eye on equality around here. They take pride in tattling, and even when they both end up in time-out for the offense, they’re blaming the other party. I think the only thing they actually whole-heartedly give their devotion to is Brody, and that’s all 3 of them. Lucky Boy.

I have every hope that they’ll grow up to be the best of friends. I’m sure that years from now, as they stand at the end of an aisle, waiting for their beautiful brides, there will be 3 Yarros boys in matching tuxedos, standing next to their brother to offer their love and support. The question is only if they’ll live that long without killing one another off.

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