Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Keep Blood Between Brothers (redux)

One of the many interesting aspects of having kids is watching their growth and development play out in everyday life. It's like your own little human lab experiment unfolding in your living room. Nature versus nurture, genetic dispositions, birth order, gender differences, etc. it's all happening right in front of your eyes. If only my wife was more open to my idea of raising the next one in a box...

Anyway, after recent close observation of my particular subjects interacting in said environment, I've been able to confirm a theory that I first postulated more than thirty years ago:

Little brothers are annoying.

It would actually be more accurate to say, little brothers are incredibly annoying. Given all the frustration and pain they cause their older siblings, it's a wonder that they survive long enough to reach adulthood. From the moment they first achieve mobility, they're into everything and anything of their brother's. Their time, their space, their food, their drink, and most egregiously of all, their toys.

The older brother had become accustomed to a world of order and routine. Now, in the form of his younger sibling, utter chaos has entered it. His understandable reaction is to resist this intrusion, but he quickly discovers that his ability to effectively respond is limited by the parameters of allowable physical contact imposed by his parents. He also learns--much to his dismay--that despite his relative inexperience, the younger brother has a cunning appreciation of said limits which he plays to his maximum advantage. A mere inadvertent touch on the arm will cause his brother to flail about wildly before crashing to the ground in order to feign injury in a dramatic performance most reminiscent of an Italian soccer player (only with less crying).

So he has little choice but to come to recognize his brother's right to not only exist but also to annoy. It really doesn't seem fair. Then or now

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