It happened. It finally happened. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.
Last weekend we were visiting some friends, and in their backyard was a swing set with a slide. The boys were so excited to play with it. Eventually Evan discovered a new game o0f rolling cars down the slide to Sean who laughed with glee, giving me the car to hand back to Evan to start the process all over again. Evan kept in his other hand a purple Halloween flashlight that he found and wanted to carry around the house. So after a dozen times of rolling down the car, Evan realized that the flashlight was round like wheels. Let’s see what happens.
Success. The flashlight rolled perfectly into Sean’s waiting hands, but rather than hand the flashlight to Mommy, Sean’s chubby hands closed around the flashlight. Then Sean turned and started pumping those thick legs for all they were worthy. Evan let out a cry and threw himself down the slide. This is bad.
Since my legs are longer than the boys are tall, I shot past Evan with ease. Sean had the element of surprise even though he still has that waddle run with his arms pumping side to side. I caught up to him before he rounded the pool, shouting to Evan to let Mommy handle this. I grabbed Sean and set him down, kneeling to look eye to eye.
“Evan was playing with this. This is Evan’s toy. When he is done with it, you can play with it. Now give it to Mommy.”
I know the only reason Sean wanted it was because Evan had it. I pried the flashlight out of Sean’s fingers. I handed it to Evan. Sean’s hand shot out and grabbed the flashlight. They tug-a-war-ed it. I grabbed Sean, pulling him off the flashlight. Sean wailed as though his puppy died. Then I carried him inside and dumped him into my husband’s lap.
“What’s wrong, Sean,” asked my husband.
“He’s acting like a second born.”
I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Maybe I should have been surprised over how long they were friends. According to family legend my brother and I declared war much earlier on.
I was sitting, watching TV, holding my Teddy, sucking on my pacifier, minding my own business. When my brother, my non-sucking pacifier brother, crawled over, he took the pacifier out of my mouth and crawled away. When he was safely past arms length, he sat down, waved the pacifier in my direction to make sure I knew he had it, and stuck it in his mouth. Are you kidding me?! And I did what any toddler would do. I started to cry. And plot revenge.
And then it was a free for all after that. Little moon-shape scars from fingernails. Clumps of hair pulled from the root. Barbie doll heads, hot wheel wheels, broken banks, broken toys. Lies, blaming, tattling, arguments. Wrestling matches that went on hours after the favorite TV show was over and unwatched. A malignant hate that spread amongst the three of us in all consuming war that finally cumulated to the devastating head of-
Actually we eventually grew out of it in our late teens, early twenties, and we actually call one another and hang out. It’s weird. Of course, the minute the parents leave us alone with the TV and remote, we start arguing again.
So now whatever Evan has, Sean must have it NOW. If Evan is eating something, even if Sean has his own or already ate his own, he must have Evan’s NOW. Not that Evan doesn’t just run by to hit, push, kick Sean whenever he gets the urge. You can actually see it in Evan’s eyes when he’s decided to do something to Sean.
The other day, Sean bent down to examine something on the ground. Evan took the opportunity to go behind Sean and start kicking him in the bum. Sean was as unmoved as a rock. I was horrified, and Evan spent sometime in the time out chair.
Or the day when Evan refused to nap and fell asleep on the couch watching football with his dad. Out of nowhere, Sean came over and just started wailing on Evan, who slept through the whole thing. We would scold Sean and distract him, but two minutes later he’s getting in his blows. Hey, show some respect. At least, do it when your parents aren’t watching!
So I’m knee deep in sibling rivalry. Part of it’s my fault because I can’t seem to remember to buy two of everything. Why the hell didn’t I buy two Wall*e’s. And Bill Cosby may be right; eventually I won’t care about justice, just peace.