Sunday, January 8, 2012

Big Brother

And by Big Brother, I don't mean the kind that watches over you, just the kind that tortures you if you happen to be the younger child.  In our house, that's Big Dog.  But in this house, Big Dog is at a bit of a disadvantage.  Both Mr. Dog and I have older siblings so we have repeatedly warned Big Dog that we are familiar with the special kind of abuse younger siblings receive  from older siblings.  It may not be physical, but usually it ends up with someone getting thumped.  Thinking back on my childhood, I remember vividly long series of irritations that pushed me to my limit and ended up with me punching my sister then getting punished for hitting while she, as the victim of my brutality, sat smugly by watching her plan come cleanly together.  I have promised as a mother that, while I will not support the thumping of an annoying older sibling, when it comes time for punishment, the annoyer will be treated with the same level of seriousness as the annoyee.  Last night I realized that the era of torment is in full swing in our house.

See, last night we had dinner with friends at their house.  While they have moved since last time we'd visited, their household is known for having cats.  Cute, furry, lovable cats.  It made it easy to motivate the boys to get their shoes on and get out the door for an on time arrival.
"Little Dog, come put on your shoes."
"Don't you want to see the kitties?"
And suddenly there he was slipping on his boots.

"Let's go to the car."
"Wait, I just want to do one more thing..."
"Don't you wand to see the kitties?"
And there both boys were, ready to rush out the door.

We had dinner, and later the boys played with their new DS games while the adults sat at the table talking.  It was so civilized (well, apart from the technology related meltdowns and a few sibling issues, but let's ignore those and pretend it was all perfect loveliness since our hosts didn't seem at all upset by the outbursts.)  At one point, Little Dog's DS ran out of batteries, so I let him play games on my iPhone to keep him happy.

As they started to get cranky, we decided it was time to take the beasts boys home and said  our thanks for the dinner and conversation.  In our somewhat disorganized effort to get out of the house, Little Dog left his DS on the floor.

We were no more than 5 minutes away when Big Dog called it out.  "Where is Little Dog's DS?"
I looked in my pockets, Mr. Dog did the same and we realized that it was left behind. 
"I'll call them tomorrow and pick it up for you.  Don't worry." I assured him, but clearly that was not enough.  Little Dog, who was already tired and overly emotional, started to wail.  Tomorrow was too long.  Why couldn't I just get it now?  He couldn't possibly spend the rest of the evening, which mostly consisted of going to sleep, without it.  And he started to spin up into a bit of a tantrum.  Back in the world of reality, by the time I got home, I'd already received an email from our friends saying they had the DS and we could come pick it up in the morning, no problem.

Once we were home and my efforts to soothe Little Dog were showing some positive effect, Big Dog stepped in. 

"I sure hope the cats don't eat your DS, Little Dog."  Little Dog wails.
"The cats won't eat a DS. Stop it," I warned.
A pause, then another jab.

"I hope the cats won't scratch your DS up, Little Dog."  Another wail from Little Dog.
"The cats have no interest in the DS.  Mike has the DS.  I'm sure it's safe.  I'll get it in the morning."
A pause, then a new approach.

"I sure hope they didn't knock out the game cartridge.  It sure would be a bummer if you lost your game, Little Dog."
"Stop it.  Be quiet.  One more word about the possible demise of the DS and I'll give him yours."
"But he still wouldn't have his game.  Would you Little Dog?"
Now I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't just messing with Little Dog this time.  And I'm not even his younger sibling.

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