When we were pregnant with Nicholas and people found out we were having a boy, the most common response was, “Oh, well that’s okay. It’s only your second. You can keep trying!” The more diplomatic of our friends would ask, “Are you going to keep trying for a girl?”
Nope! We’re ship-shape. I always replied that the only way we would have more children is if I could guarantee they would all be boys. I was only partly kidding.
All I ever wanted growing up was a sister. My brothers had each other, and together they were thick as thieves, like built-in best friends. The Mister is extremely close with his brother, and my girlfriends with sisters are the same. I know it’s possible to be close to a sibling of the opposite gender, and that some brothers are enemies and sisters are rivals. Likely, even. But it formed in my mind as a young child that same-sex siblings become best friends. I grew up wanting sons or daughters, but not both.
We are lucky that Mikey and Nicholas adore and look out for each other. If Mikey gets a treat from a mom at choir practice, he asks for an extra one to bring home to his brother. Nicholas colors Mikey pictures during the day and waits for him on the front porch to get home from school. They ask to sleep with each other every night.
Lately, though, there has been a competitive streak between the two. Who can jump, run, walk, play, clean up, eat, and drink faster. Who can read, sing, color, kick, swing, and ride bikes better. There are never ending races. Matches, and then rematches. Everything is a competition, including who is the most tired. Last night I heard them squabble back and forth.
“Whooh. I am so tired,” yawned Nico.
“I’m more tired than you,” challenged Mikey.
“No, I’m more tired.”
“I’m so tired, I’m practically asleep standing up!”
“I’m so tired, I already fell alseep and mama woke me up for dinner!”
“I said I’m more tired!”
“No, I AM!”
All this, while wide awake and playing with marbles.
I dropped family off at the airport at 5:30am that morning, then spent the day purging toys. My throat tickled either from impending plague or too much dust. I spent $40 two hours earlier on fish tank supplies and El Pollo Loco and they were arguing about who was more tired? Answer: ME. I was exhausted, in need of a break, and not about to let this opportunity slide by.
So I said, “I don’t know why you two are arguing back and forth. The only way you’ll be able to prove who is more tired is by being the one who falls asleep first.”
Eyes clashed over a ring of marbles. A mad dash to brush teeth and then, separate beds. Prayers recited faster than auction calls. Lights out! Goodnight! I’m already asleep! In less than five minutes, the house was a blanket of quiet.