Sibling Rivalry

When my brother and I were little we had our own rooms. This worked well for Aaron who liked being alone with his books and his toys. But I required constant attention and companionship. So one day I packed up my teddy bear and favorite pillow and moved into his room. Just like that. Another successful colonization project in North America…

We were required to make our beds in the morning, and to avoid this injustice my brother decided to sleep on top of his covers. This was infuriating and unfair as I ran cold and needed my blankets to fall asleep. But this meant that in the morning while I slaved over my bed, Aaron was free to run downstairs and choose the bigger bagel for breakfast…

When my mom would take us grocery shopping she would give us each a bagel to keep us occupied while she shopped. Aaron would suck on his, making it soft and soggy so that the bagel would last longer than mine…

There was no thrill as exciting as beating my brother to push the elevator button first. This was an epic and long-lasting Cold War – always on the brink of actual violence. I still feel a small rush when I imagine pulling ahead in the race down the hall, and a sense of relief when the button lights up and I have secured the satisfaction of this treat. Unfortunately for me my kids seem to find the same exhilaration in the elevator-button-game…

For several glorious years my brother enjoyed serving my every demand. He fetched and cleaned for me. All he wanted in life was my approval. But one day – one of the darkest of my life – Aaron decided he was no longer interested in being my personal servant. We were in the basement decorating my dollhouse. I told him to run upstairs and fetch me a pair of scissors. He stood up, as if to jump to it, but instead of moving, he looked me in the eyes and calmly said “no.”

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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