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Friday, March 27, 2009

Pesky Little Brother

When I married Doug, I was aware that he was the youngest of five, with one older brother and three older sisters. It didn’t occur to me that I was marrying the little brother. The pesky little brother.

I’ve seen this phenomenon many times with my own children. Cole doesn’t receive enough attention from his older sister, so he uses annoyance tactics to get her undivided, albeit raging mad, attention.

“Alex! You love so and so…(fill in the blank with any boy’s name, works best with those she complains about most). You want to kiss him! You want to marry him!”

Only repeat that 56 more times and you have one completely irritated sister who is willing to chase her little brother to engage in a good battle. (This is, of course, Cole’s goal -- to be chased and to have it end in a wrestling match.)

But what happens to the little brother when he grows up and gets married? Apparently, he turns into Doug.

Don’t get me wrong. I love him with all my heart. But it occurred to me, as he continued to snap gum in my ear the other morning(knowing full well this is one of my greatest peeves), that my husband suffers from little brother syndrome. The clues?

 Consistently repeats a particularly annoying behavior only to get a rise out of me.
 Attempts to wrestle, despite the absence of aggression in the target.

How do I resolve this? Here we have a fairly aggressive, testosterone-laden youngest boy of five siblings, married to a fairly passive, testosterone-deficient only child?

Okay, don’t answer that. Get my nose out of books and computers and give him some undivided attention, right? I will, unless I have to stop Alex from beating up Cole.

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