I knew my boys would fight. When the Hen was a baby and his brother three and a half years old, I knew without a doubt the day would come that they’d wrestle and tousle. And one or both would get hurt.
But I failed to take into account that there might also be ‘verbal sparring’ along the way. I guess I thought – naively – that fighting ‘with words’ was more of a girl thing than a boy thing.
And thus far my initial hypothesis has proven true, chez Johnson. If one boy-child took a toy from another boy-child, chasing and fisticuffs ensued. Followed, usually, by tearful tattling and a parent-thwarted attempt to exact revenge. One more time.
But, I suppose, it makes sense now that the Hen is becoming more chatty, that they air their grievances in other ways.
Which is how I came upon the following exchange, this evening. After bedtime.
The Hen was sitting in his crib, reading a book. The Gort was lolling about on his bed. Neither doing anything remotely resembling – sleeping. Suddenly the Hen roared at his brother.
‘Stop scaring me,’ his brother replied.
‘Rrrrrrraaaaaaaah,’ came the immediate response.
‘If you scare me again….I’m going to tell on our parents.’
‘Rrrraaaaaaah,’ roared the little brother before his oldest brother had even finished his sentence.
‘Mooooooooommmm,’ my oldest yelled as he walked into my room where I was sitting on the bed. Laughing.
‘He’s scaring me,’ the five year old registered his complaint.
I sent him back to bed. And listened as he walked into their room.
‘If you scare me again….I’m going to tell mom.’
‘Rrrrrraaaaah,’ replied the two year old.
‘Mooooommmm,’ whined the five year old as he marched back into my room.
I sent him back. Without bothering to hide my laughing this time.
‘If you scare me again, I’m moving out!’ he announced to his middle brother.
‘Rrraaaaaaaaaah,’ the middle brother tested.
Sure enough, the Gort made good on his promise and dragged his blankets next door to the baby’s room-let.
‘Bye…bye,’ he repeated emphatically. ‘I’m moving out of our room!’
And so the day ended. With the Hen standing in his crib, yelling nonsensical syllables, peppered with his newly-discovered word: ‘again’. And the Gort learning an important lesson: that a crying baby might be more annoying than a roaring two year old.