I remember my mother threatening us with chemical castration (Ok, just the belt) if she heard that word come out of my mouth one more time when we were kids. Usually it was a double laden threat. She knew the only reason I would possibly be whining that word, was because my older brother was tormenting me. And by tormenting, I mean usually physically hurting me. As you do.
I remember it was a nightly event in our household. Either he or I were on for it. Sometimes we were eerily in sync and like the perfect storm, we would just begin with multiple flying kicks off the bunk beds.
Now, if Mum were here, I would like to tell her, SORRY for being such a shit. And I guess the reap what you sow chestnut is oh so true.
The word ‘DON’T’ squealed at full volume whilst dragged across young vocal cords may well be what does me in. I can handle most all the words I hear come from my children’s mouths. I can take - Stop it, I know you are you said you are, Get out of my room (10yr old) and the old chestnut “I’m dobbing” but ‘Don’t’ does my head in.
My brothers and I’s fights usually consisted of some pinching to start us off. Then we would start the bed wrestling. Sometimes when were being friendly, we played the “put the pillow on the other ones’ face until they scream and then let them up but don’t actually take the pillow off when they scream stop” game. That was generally the first DON’T of the night. Then there was the time we used Mum and Dad’s bed as a high jump mat but didn’t count on the steel legs bending under with the force. There was no DON’T’s that night, but the very disappointed look from our mother and the vision of my wafer thin father trying to bend them back out with his bare hands. It was generally all over for the night when I brought out the big guns, which meant my heel was brought down in a crushing fashion into the middle of my brothers spine. The scream of pain usually got us sent to bed pretty quickly.
What I don’t understand is why we went back and did it all again the next night. The fact that my brother walks today and actually talks to me shows that this is just normal sibling behaviour. Although, to be honest, we didn’t really like each other until we were in our early twenties.
I sit sometimes and wonder about my three. Their birth orders, their sexes and what all this will mean when they are adults. If anything. I have a friend who had an older sister. Her most vivid memory was chasing her sister into the toilet and kicking a hole hastily shut door in a fit of anger. So, sex is irrelevant. Maybe intensified? My brother in law once stabbed one of his brothers with a butter knife and my own husband threw a shoe at his brothers head and split it open just in time for his 21st birthday.
I think my 10 year old and 7 year old would actually get along ok and they seem to when it’s just them two. Add hurricane, epitome of a third child, Jack, the newly 3 year old, and all hell breaks loose.
I keep getting told that I am too harsh on Jack. That he’s a normal little 3 year old boy who is just cheeky. Um, no I’ve had two before this and not one of them has shit themselves and rubbed it into the very porous wallpaper whilst simultaneously having a taste. Nor have they taken pot shots at animals when they think I'm not watching or opened up a friends Christmas presents – the night before Christmas. And don’t get me wrong. We try it all. We discipline, we try and talk calmly and we try time outs. All I can think is that one day, we look back and laugh at his nightly meltdown and claims of having a bad toff (cough) to buy more time before bed.
One thing is certain though, we have a good 20 years to see how it all pans out..