My boys are best friends and worst enemies...and driving me to the nut house.
Big brother loves to push little brother's buttons and make him scream, laughing all the while.
Little brother looks up to big brother and idolizes everything big brother does, only occasionally calling big brother a doofus.
I took the kids to lunch on Saturday (what? me? cook? don't think so). And big brother was just being an absolute pill to EVERYONE. He was combative with me, with Jordyn, with Jordyn's friend Kayla, and, of course, with his little brother.
While waiting for our food to arrive, big brother said to little brother, "You're not my best friend anymore." It was as if he had literally punched Owen in the gut. The tears (the real, big tears) that began to stream down little brother's face as he cried to me through his sobs "Liam said I'm not his best friend anymore!" were unbelievable. This statement caused little 3 year old brother some real pain.
I had already had it up to here with Liam, and didn't really want to get into yet another combat with him, so, rather than insist he apologize RIGHT NOW or Santa won't bring you any toys, I simply looked at Liam and said, "You.just.broke.(big pause).your.brother's.heart. " That's it. That's all I said. And I looked away.
Within 15 minutes, (as I was ignoring Liam - well, not really ignoring, but rather, not playing into his woe is me, everybody's mean to me so I have a right to behave badly attitude), within 15 minutes, Liam sidled up next to Owen, put his arms around him and apologized. Sincerely. From the heart. They looked into each other's eyes and Liam said "Brothers Forever. Friends for Life."
As this exchange occurred, I pretended not to notice. Tears were welling up in my eyes. Jordyn asked me if I was going to cry. No No No. Well, almost. I was just so touched, and so proud of big brother for making up with little brother with out being FORCED.
Then, on Sunday, the boys were at it again in the playroom. God only knows why. I simply went into the playroom and sat each boy upon my lap. They each were thrusting fingers in each other's faces, practically up each other's nose, saying (OK, screaming), "He started it! HE started it! He STARTED it!"
I didn't even know what IT was. Nor did I care.
So, I calmly said to my boys. "I really don't care who started the fight. What I want to know is who's going to finish the fight?"
Liam shot his hand up in the air.
"OK, Liam, how are you going to finish it?" I asked, proud that he was so anxious to put an end to this nonsense.
"I'm going to throw him to the ground and scream in his face!" Yes, that really was his reply.
"Hmm, can you think of a different way to finish it?"
"I'll tackle him and punch him in the nose."
"OK, Liam, those are examples of how to perpetuate, or continue the fight. How about an idea on how to FINISH the fight?"
And then he hopped off my lap, put his arms around Owen's neck, apologized, and off they went.
Brothers Forever. Friends for Life.