Brother vs. Brother

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

“How long did it take SJ?” BR asked. This seemingly insignificant question came while he was in the chair at the dentist office.  The dental assistant had a drill in his mouth and water by his side should he feel the need to spit.To put it simply, it was not the time for talking.

However, for my boys, the time for rivalry and jealousy seems to be 24/7.

They love each other. They kiss each other without prompting. They play on the computer together. They feel bad if the other one is upset.


However, it seems their more natural state is to argue.

“Hey, he got more juice. It’s my turn to go on the computer.  I want to go in the bath first.”

I don’t know what has caused them to behave like this. I know children argue with each other especially when they are close in age (31 months apart).

My next older brother and I are 27 months apart. And we argued plenty. I can remember many “shut up, no you shut up sort of fights.” But other than wanting to go to go to bed later like him, I don’t remember feeling jealous. Though I suppose I was to some extent which I think is natural.

However, my children are excessive. Their whole personalities can change when each other is around: BR becomes more tense and SJ ruder.

Car rides are hell. There is no room to go to or door to shut. Our last car ride, a 25 minute trip, featured screaming from each family member and my heart rate doubling. BR had headphones yet said he heard SJ’s movie, and it was distracting. SJ insisted he choose the movie, and BR did not like the movie that was on.

Petty crap, wouldn’t you say? Typical.

Neither my wife nor I does the, “well your brother does this, so why don’t you” sort of thing. Well, maybe on the rare occasion.

Each of the children gets attention. Is it equal? Probably not.

However, I don’t believe that everything is meant to be exactly the same for each child.  They have different personalities, needs, and wants.

Again, this is grating on me, and I don’t know what to do about it. Like all parents, I want my children to be friends. I want them to be loyal and have each other’s back.

On those occasions, when they do act nicely towards each other, I am thrilled. There is something beautiful about seeing them together that brings me a great joy. (

Anyone got some advice? We have another dentist appointment coming up.