I was watching a programme the other day where two teenage siblings, similar in age-gap to my children, had a touching moment. The younger brother congratulated his older sister on graduating University and they had a hug.
I looked over at the 8 year old who had wrapped herself in a blanket and was trying to merge with the sofa so that I might forget she was there so she could stay up later. With her brother snoring in the room above us I said “I do hope that you and your brother will be like that when you’re both teenagers”. She managed to unfurl her head from the blanket long enough to give me a look of utter disgust.
I don’t blame her one bit, the 6 year old has recently learnt which buttons to press to elicit the most abhorrent behaviour from his sister.
Top four are;
The Mimic: If he mimics anything she says with a slight whine to his voice she goes ballistic.
The Look: He’s worked out that she’s sensitive, after watching the movie Men in Black, and if he does mad stary eyes with a bit of a zombie walk she goes ballistic.
The ‘It’s opposite day’: She asks him a question and he give the opposite answer to the truth. She goes ballistic.
The ‘I know you are, I said you are, but what am I?’ conversation: It’s incredibly annoying and can go on forever. She goes ballistic.
And throughout this testing time I cling, desperately, to a tender moment on Sunday where I found them snuggled up in the 6 year old’s bed as she listened to him read. Of course an hour later we were back to normal with them arguing …