A couple years ago, I wrote about how Buster (then a baby) vexed Big Brother (then a four-year-old) by crawling among his play sets and tearing up all his railroad tracks.
And now you may be thinking: “Two years ago? This blog has been around that long? Wow, this guy doesn’t know when to give up!”
Anyway, Buster and Big Brother still fight over toys sometimes. But there are many other times when they play together, and (dare I say it?) co-operate to build things. There are even times when Buster accepts instruction from Big Brother in order to accomplish his playtime goals.
Buster has no recollection of the havoc he caused to his brother’s play sets, nor of the gnashing of teeth resulting from his destructive ways. As far as he recollects, all of his frictions with his older brother have been honest disagreements between different engineering visions.
This lack of recall must make it especially hard on him that payback is a bitch.
There’s a New Baby in town, and his devotion to wanton destruction burns just as brightly as Buster’s ever did. The sock is on the other foot. Of course, the second sock has been pulled off and discarded, in the tradition of babies everywhere.
Now, Buster is the gnasher of teeth, shouting, “No, Baby, no!” using the same frantic urgency with which it was once directed at him. New Baby does him credit by living up to the very standard of disregard for admonition that he himself established all those forgotten times ago. Lack of recognition, coupled with an uncoupled train, makes it a hollow honor.
I can’t explain to Buster that the unprovoked baby attacks he is enduring now are the same as he used to perpetrate. He can’t imagine that he could ever have been so annoying. Even if he could, it would only make him wonder why Daddy insists on bringing up random bits of ancient history that clearly have no relevance to his current suffering.
Daddy needs to be solving problems in the here and now, rather than telling his old-man stories of questionable accuracy. New Baby needs to be taken away and possibly housed in a cage until Buster is good and done with his trains. Then, New Baby can be let out to tear them apart, so that when Buster is asked to pick them up, he can explain that New Baby was the last to use them. This is the kind of scenario that Daddy should be orchestrating, instead of fabricating some sketchy moral justification of New Baby’s outrages.
This house needs some law and order against the depredations of little brothers. At least until Big Brother gets home from school. Then we can renegotiate what little brothers are allowed to get away with.
Never let it be said that Buster doesn’t consider both sides of the issue.
The greatest thing about siblings, they’ll fight and bicker and be at each others throats their whole childhood, then somewhere around late teens, early 20s they’ll become best buds for life! Well in most cases… unless you’re one of those Jerry Springer families!
Aren’t we all just a jar of bad moonshine and a snaggletooth cousin away from being Jerry Springer families? They are good people who have just taken a wrong turn here and there . . . and there . . and there . . . and that other place . . .
Yeah, so easily we forget how annoying we were when we were younger. Well, many of us. (Some babies are less annoying.) Two years, and you’re great at articulating this story.
There are lots of adults who still don’t recognize how annoying they can be, so I guess we need to cut the kids some slack.
They make the story fun and easy to tell. Thanks.
For some reason while reading this I couldn’t help but think that this is the perfect metaphor for every global conflict.
I’m pretty sure it’s not that deep.
The man in the middle is the hardest position, I believe, Scott. The baby doesn’t seem too bad. I say this as the oldest, happiest, most well-adjusted child of three. 🙂
Fortunately, our man in the middle has sharp elbows.
He’ll need them for years and years, Scott.
The brain forgets the pain…
. . . it caused to others.