Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Little Brother Copies Big Brother

"You did it, I'll do it!"
As a younger brother I know what it's like to look up to your older sibling. Three years' seniority means a lot, particularly in one's formative years and there are many gems of wisdom imparted by my older brother that have stuck in my brain down through the ages. Sagacious pearls such as, "it is better to wash your hands in cold running water..."
Or was it hot running water?
Anyway, something like that.

Wherever he went, I followed. I began by following him into the world (debatable - unkind 'friends' may suggest that I normally inhabit a little world of my own). I followed him to the same primary school, the same secondary school and the same university. Being four academic years ahead he'd left university before I got there but he did me the honour of visiting me occasionally. Finally, as if all that wasn't enough, I followed him to work. There our paths diverged. While he was given a comfy chair and trained in how to fix complex electrical items I was handed a broom, sent out into the rear yard and told to 'look busy' - a feat that I managed with such self-effacing competence that my overseers forgot to give me a lunch break.

So it has come as no surprise to find Isaac copying Graham sometimes. This can be:

Useful
Isaac has gone through the usual fussy-eater toddler stage. Having an older brother to demonstrate just how tasty cold cornish pasty can be is extremely handy. Sometimes it even persuaded him to eat it.

Noisy
It isn't often that Isaac and Graham have baths together. When they do it is always advisable to leave your fingers free in order that you may plug them securely into your ears. First one screams, then the other one screams. Number one screams a bit louder, number two follows suit. Each successive scream gets a bit louder and more piercing. We only have a small bathroom. By the end of thirty seconds it begins to sound as though a whole herd of pigs were being brutally murdered in there.
Then number one begins to throw water about... It is mainly for this reason that I refuse to bath any small child unless liberally draped in towels. The floor just has to look out for itself.

Active
We have a good game in our house. It's called 'Running up and down the hallway as fast as possible'. We've got a nice long hallway but even so it can take a long time for them to get tired out. Very useful if they've had a day cooped up indoors and haven't been able to wear off any energy outside.

Inspirational
I'm not sure that's quite the right word but it's certain sure that an effective way to get Isaac to move forwards on his trike is to place Graham on his scooter in front of him and say 'follow Graham!' Saying 'follow Daddy!' never seems to work quite as well, however encouragingly uttered.

Hilarious
Dancing, jigging and all other unco-ordinated movements are generally that little bit more humorous when the smaller participant doesn't really know what's going on but is trying to have a go anyway.

But then, as Darth Vader didn't quite say,

The Student becomes the Master
There are so many things that younger brothers are better at than their older siblings. Compared to my brother, for example, I am an absolute master at body-boarding. He's never actually tried body-boarding, which helps, but I reckon I still get the bragging rights. Currently Isaac is better than Graham in at least two things: babbling in a cute way and eating. The despiser of meat pie has become the devourer of meat pie, usually culminating in second and even third helpings. Graham is normally content with one helping, washed down with ice cream, cake, biscuits and sweets.

Haec est vita, dessert is sweeter!

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