I touched on this the other day, but there’s something you can’t fail to notice about boys: their competitive streak.
Eager to one-up each other the WHOLE TIME, my sons compare everything, from who gets to sit next to whom the most, to the football teams their footie shirts belong to.
And sometimes this relentless rivalry gets quite exhausting, especially when it’s over something really silly you can’t believe they’re arguing about. Like toothbrushing. (“I’m going to win!” said in a light, humorous tone, but with a fine thread of steel running through the centre of it.) Or which one of them loves their grandparents the most.
I’m sure this chronic competitiveness is getting more pronounced, too. It was easier when they were really small and had an active fantasy life. At age 3, if they wanted to be the fastest kid in the world, they just had to imagine they were. Now, at ages 8 and 6, they realise it’s not good enough just to think they’re the fastest – they have to prove it.
At other times, my sons are the best of friends and keep each other entertained for hours – and when it’s the two of them pitted against the world, they stand up for each other with a brotherly empathy that knows no bounds.
But, at home, it can feel like I’m continually being driven crazy by petty squabbles that border on grievous bodily harm.
“You.Are.The.Worst.Brother.In.The.World,” I heard Son1 telling Son2 the other night, after yet another argument over I can’t remember what. “Mum …blah, blah, blah, blah … he started it.” Can you tell I had my fingers in my ears?
“Look, it’s even on YouTube,” continued Son1, bringing me the iPad. He’s really into making movies at the moment and has worked out how to upload them. I glanced at the screen. And, to my alarm, there it was: his latest home movie – a biography of sorts, entitled The Worst Brother in the World.
(While I had some success in teaching Son1 that this isn’t a nice thing to tell the world, I’m still attempting to figure out how to delete this production!)
It’s a good job I know they love each other really. <3