After my 20-week ultrasound with Charlie, and after we had texted all the family and friends, I asked Cortney if he was excited to have another boy. Both of us were actually quite giddy about another little boy. Eddie would have a BROTHER! They would be BROTHERS!
I have never had a same-sex sibling, but from what I could tell, it was both a blessing and a curse…but mostly a blessing. I was always a little jealous of my two brothers. Even though Chris and I were closer in age, he and our youngest brother, Mike were closer. I guess there are just things that you can’t talk about with your big sister, but that a brother understands. You know, like sports.
Cortney, though, had a brother. There are almost seven years between them, but the have a special bond. Now that they are adults, they get together regularly. They bond over a beer and discuss everything from sports to their dad to having daughters.
Brothers are special. It’s just a special relationship. That is why when were told Eddie was getting a brother, a Charlie Bird, we rejoiced for our family.
I had to write all that because now that they are three-and-a-half and six? I am not always so sure about the wonder of the brotherly bond.
Friends, the level of bickering goes to eleven with these two.
It usually starts with both of them doing their own thing. Maybe Eddie is playing the tablet while Charlie catches up on his DVR-ed Mickey episodes. Everything is peaceful in Sluiter Nation. And then someone (ahem, Charlie) feels the need to sit too close to Eddie. Or maybe someone (ahem, Eddie) randomly mentions that he had a piece of candy after school. AND THEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
Eddie freaks out on Charlie or Charlie freaks out on all of us.
And they BOTH need the last word.
I admit that I yell. I know, I KNOW. I’ve read all those stupid articles and posts about yelling at your kids and how you need to be all patient and down on their level.
But sometimes? Sometimes I just yell, “STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! OH MY JUMPING JEHOSHAPHAT STOP IT RIGHT NOW!”
This goes on and on for days and days.
The picking the bickering the not being able to be in the same dang room without driving Cortney and me to the Loony Bin.
And then Eddie will come home from school with a library book he picked out because Charlie would like it.
Or Charlie asks Eddie if he would like some of his m&ms.
Or Eddie asks Charlie if he would like to learn to play Where’s My Water on his tablet, and they scrunch together in the chair on a Saturday morning.
Or Charlie asks Eddie if he can play Pokemon with him and Eddie says Yes.
Or Eddie asks Charlie what letters he learned at daycare and tells him “Good job!” when Charlie shares his letter work.
Or Cortney and I wake up at 6am on a Saturday because we hear the two of them giggling and talking with each other in their room because they know they can’t get up until 7:00am.
I catch myself in those moments pausing and trying to picture them in high school together or in their 20’s and talking smack to each other about fantasy leagues. I try to picture them standing up in each other’s weddings or holding each other’s newborn babies. I like to think they will always stick up for each other, always be there when the other needs a buddy to just have a beer with.
And just as a tear is starting to come to my sentimental mom eye, I’ll hear a smack and then the yell of “CHAAAAAARRRRLLLIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!” Then a three-and-a-half-year-old scream and another thump.
I will suck in my breath, shake my head, and try to calm down so I don’t yell. Again.