My men-children actually have a sibling – a gorgeous little sister, a veritable gift from God, who surprised us all seven years ago. She’s definitely one of those “old souls”, someone who’s been here before, and is wise beyond her years. Maybe that’s just what happens when you live in an “adult” house – they’ve seen and heard a lot more than just toddler speak growing up, and adjust their view of the world accordingly.
So I’m always interested to observe my daughter’s views on her brothers. Of course there’s not much she misses out on hearing – you can’t ask her to go away every time there’s “secret men-children business”. Although we do use a certain amount of discretion, depending on the sensitivity of the issue at hand.
Their relationship is probably typical of siblings, although I wish it were better. Man-Child I is quite good with his sister, but has been known to yell aggressively at her on occasion, and she’s somewhat sensitive so doesn’t respond well to this of course (who does?).
Man-Child II is probably very like his sister in many ways and so they have one of those typical “middle child” relationships – both know exactly how to wind the other up, which causes constant squabbling and drives me mad.
I said to my poor daughter the other day in exasperation and anger unfortunately: “Just ignore Man-Child II. He only does it because he knows he’ll get a reaction, every time. If you don’t respond he’ll soon tire of it”.
Later that night, when he tried again, I was ready to rip his throat out. She looked at me and said – “You’re right Mum. Just ignore him.” It made me stop and bite my tongue – now’s who’s the grown up one?
One day in the car she asked me a simple question: “Mum, do you think I’ll be as bad as the boys?” Naturally I said she wouldn’t, without any doubt in my mind, although to be honest who really knows the answer to that question? Only time will tell.
I do wish the boys would be nicer to her. I once observed some 16 and 18-year-old brothers with their 7-year-old sister at a wedding. She was tired at the end of a long wedding ceremony and it was late at night. They took it in turns to cuddle her on their laps whilst their parents mingled and danced. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately I can’t even imagine my men-children doing that, although they will babysit if we pay them.
I am confident however that once my daughter is about 15 years old and has lots of nice girlfriends, the boys will have renewed interest in her. 🙂 I’m also hopeful they’ll love the idea of being the “chaperone” who will drive her to parties, pick her up late at night, and be the nice protective brothers they should be.
And on the recent subject of Christmas presents, having insisted the men-children at least buy one for their sister, she replied one thing she would like is for them to be nice to her for the day and not call her names. Let’s see if Santa can organize that wish!