I need to start out by being up front on this one; I am by no means an expert on the following topic. Most of the time, I am a self-proclaimed expert on all things in all places, but when it comes to sibling interactions, I have to claim ignorance. Being the only child, you don’t get much experience with the day to day dealings of brothers and sisters. Cousins are the closest thing you have and if they piss you off, it’s not long before each of you are back in your separate homes and don’t have to see the other for a while. Apparently, that’s not the case with siblings, from what I’ve been told, there is no escape, there is no “un-brother” button ala Facebook. Once you have a sibling, you pretty much have them for life and this can become problematic, based on the stories I’ve heard and things I’ve witnessed.
Ty and Tre just don’t get along, they fight, they argue, they attempt to one up each other, but I was under the impression that it was all natural, normal sibling behavior. They may not like each other, but they must love each other right?
Apparently one of the many side effects of being an only child is a completely skewed and unrealistic few on the term ‘brotherly love’, because my previous statement was ridiculed by both Fefe and my Mom. I have learned that there is a sinister underbelly to the sibling world that I had no idea existed. My utopian dream of having my boys live out the ultimate friendship that I never had is turning out to be exactly that: a dream, a dream that is very difficult to attain.
A few weeks ago, I found out for the first time that my Mom was a very mean little girl and that one of her older sisters had to bear the brunt of her antics. My Mom lied on my aunt to get her in trouble, taunted her, and essentially made her life hell. I was literally staring at the phone in shock and disbelief as my Mom shared these childhood stories with me. This lady is literally the nicest person I have ever encountered, so the things that she was capable of as a child were incomprehensible to me. For as long as I can remember, the two of them have always been buddy buddy, but according to my aunt, she had an enormous disdain for my Mom when they were growing up. I thought this scenario was odd, but surely an isolated case right?
WRONG, Fefe also began sharing horror stories about her childhood, explaining that she didn’t truly become close to one of her sisters until she reached her 20s. That is completely ludicrous to me; how can you live with someone all of your life, yet not like them until you move away? If that wasn’t bad enough, Fefe also admitted to dishing out the same behavior that she loathed from her older sisters onto her younger sister. Apparently, ‘do unto others’ isn’t a practice that is highly valued in the sibling realm.
I initially thought that these incidents were isolated to girls being girls, however early this week at Ty’s school conference, he was showing us some of his work, and one item was a giant heart where he wrote all of the things that he loves. The very top of the heart had both Mom & Dad, followed by things such as Kayla, video games, basketball, etc. Items were essentially listed in descending order of importance to Ty. He didn’t have enough things listed to fill the heart, so there was a pretty decent size gap from his last item (showers) and the bottom of the heart. At the very bottom tip, the last thing listed was school, directly on top of school was TRE. Seeing this hurt my heart, your brother is on the bottom of the list of things you love, narrowly beating out school? Man, that was tough to digest.
Look, I know they argue and fight and things aren’t perfect, but in my opinion, that was pretty low. I don’t think it would have been as bad if Tre shared the same feelings, but he doesn’t. He will do anything in his power to make Ty happy. He stands up for Ty whenever he gets in trouble, while Ty on the other hand takes joy in seeing Tre in trouble. When Ty was on punishment, Tre lobbied every single day for his release. When Tre has something, no matter how small, he shares with Ty. If I bring home a toy for Tre, the first thing out of his mouth is “did you get Ty anything?” If my answer is no, he volunteers to let Ty play with his toy.
Despite all of these actions, the kid somehow ends up at the bottom of the list? To me, that’s not right, but hey what do I know, I’m an only child. Weigh in, share your thoughts. Should we intervene somehow and force Ty to love his little brother more? Is this just something that all siblings go through? Do you have sibling horror stories of your own that you’d like to share? Post them up in the comments, I’m looking forward to hearing about your encounters.