I can still hear the Italian superstition being thrown at me just as I was throwing things at him. “You are going to get paid back for all of this fighting,” my mother would say with a smirk as I screamed, “but he’s touching me!!!” and slammed my body into my brother, 17 months my junior.
Sure, we got along sometimes, like when we drove the car to our neighbors and up the street at ages 13 and 14. And we were the best of friends when pouring ketchup into my sister’s shampoo. Basically, we were best friends when being bad.
But, there were also the days when he knocked all of the stuff out of my locker to make me late for class and I got in trouble. And that other time he listened to my phone conversations and told everyone whom I liked at dinner.
And now I’m a mom, and the best of friends, worst of enemies dance moves to the tune of my mom’s Catholic voodoo curse made and repeated so many years ago.
And while sometimes I think maybe I will go deaf if I hear one more scream over who has more cheese in their quesadilla, other times I pretend I can’t hear them and giggle on the staircase around the corner.
Just to be clear, the following is an actual fight had between my son James, age 3, and daughter, Josie, age 2. The names and identities may get confusing.
“Stop it, Josie!”
“No! You top it, names.”
“I am not your mother any more.”
“No, you are not Names!”
“Say your J’s, Josie!”
“Yay! (Jay) You tut up! Poopy pants!”
“I did not poop! You bum! Just stop being my sister.”
“Biper (diaper)…no, pull up. You are a pull up.”
“Mom! Josie called me a pull-up again! Get her, Rita!”
I wish I could say I intervened with some level of seriousness, but when the meanest thing of which a toddler can think is to call her big brother a pull-up, the brother who confuses his identity and refers to himself as a mother and corrects her to say her J’s and calls upon his 11 month sister to defend his ridiculous battles, seriousness eludes me.
May your Thursday’s be good, and may your homes be devoid of comparisons to diapers.