Inherently Different

no, you don’t

While there are certain traits we share, there are huge differences between my brother and I that are pretty evident to just about anyone who comes in contact with both of us.

While we are both athletes (In high school and college, I played volleyball, baseball, tennis, hockey, and soccer; my brother played football, volleyball, and baseball in high school), I took school much more seriously. Well, I graduated with a 3.5 GPA while my brother scraped together enough credits to graduate. Of course, the fact that I didn’t have to try very hard in any subject and he had to focus all his mental energy just to pass consumer math divides us on a purely cerebral level.

Another area where we differ is in how each of us views the act of parenting. Obviously he can claim first hand knowledge because he has two children and I have none. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about though. I mean, I don’t have first hand experience with infidelity, but I can definitely discuss the inherent selfishness of the act with little trouble.

My brother’s little demon spawn throws tantrums. I’m not talking about a little crying and maybe some yelling here either. I’m talking about the full blown, throw-throw-yourself-down-on-the-ground and kick, punch and scream like somebody removed your liver without the benefit of anesthesia howling. The kid can wail like a banshee.

If my child acted like that in public, I’d immediately take him home, shove him into a cardboard box in a dark closet and ignore him until he stopped. My brother? Caves in to whatever it is the child wants to stop him from crying. Neither of us believes in corporal punishment, but he would rather err on the side of caution and pretend that nothing happened than acknowledge the idea tha a good swift swat on the ass is in order when his child is ill behaved.

Over the last four days, I’ve come about as close to swatting this kid as you can without showing outward signs of murderous intent.

Only a few more days… only a few more days… only a few more days…

9 thoughts on “no, you don’t”

  1. Umm, as I understand, the 12 year old about a year’s time…revert to using unadulterated rage or truculent silence as a way of communicating.

    Anyway, one is probably bearable. I would struggle with two.

  2. hahaha — those of us that are parents really love those of you who aren’t but have so much knowledge and insight about it. I mean I wish I could have a non-parent in my house all day just telling me things like that. It would be so incredibly helpful and yes I’m being sarcastic.

    Once upon a time I was not a parent. Now I am. See, I know a bit more than you because I’ve been both. And believe me when I tell you that you just don’t know. I am not saying his parenting method is the best, I ignore my kids most of the time if they throw a tantrum but when you are a guest in someone’s home sometimes you just want the kid to shut the hell up and giving in is often the only way to do that.

    Your little analogy about infidelity is interesting; you’ve never experienced it but you can discuss it as being a selfish act. I do not have any first-hand experience with infidelity either (and hope I never will); I too can discuss it and say how selfish it is. And I can discuss parenting methods in theory and have various opinions about various methods but until you actually bring a screaming child home from the hospital and know what it is to love another human more than yourself, more than life – you just don’t know. Until you have that same child go through the terrible twos and turn into little aliens screaming and kicking while all your trying to do is enjoy a visit with your family or sit down and have a meal uninterupted — you really just don’t know.

    Non-parents have the advantage of calmly observing and thinking of various parenting methods and analyzing the pros and cons. They don’t have the same emotions towards the child as a parent and they don’t have the experience of being with that child day after day after day. And non-parents have no concept, no clue how much of your freedom is really taken when you have a child. You don’t know what we know – that if I just give that child the damn cookie he is yelling about then I can have 5 minutes of sweet sweet peace and quiet. When you are a parent 5 minutes is a lot and the temptation is often hard to resist.

  3. I am only an Auntie at this point, and I love my sister’s kids, but the fact is that even good children are ridiculous at times. I can’t say I know what the ideal response is all the time – it seems like something you often have to play by ear – but I would hope capitulating isn’t your brother’s normal response, that it is, like Dawn suggested, his way of trying to minimize the situation while visiting.

    I’ve become quite good at talking my niece out of her bad tempers, but I only have to do it occasionally, which is probably the only reason it’s successful.

    I hope your nephew straightens out for the remainder of his visit!

    (and, the new design is cool!)

  4. Let me just say that I have no illusions about how difficult it is being a parent. Dawn, I understand what you are saying completely and know that having a child is the only way one can truly understand what it is like to be ultimately responsible for a life other than your own.

    That said, for those who haven’t quite figured it out, I don’t have children for this very reason. Aside from the whole ego thing, having children is just something I have no desire to participate in.

    And the cheating thing… read the next post and maybe then you’ll understand what I mean.

  5. I wanted to say that I think its great e! that you are so content with your decision not to have children. So many people have them because they think it is something you’re just supposed to do. Before I had children the idea of not having them was unfathomable. And of course now that they are here I have no desire to send them back. But, I realize now that not having children is a perfectly acceptable option, and many people who have them probably shouldn’t have.

  6. There was a time when I wanted children… before I really thought about it. I love children and find that children love hanging out with me as well. Whether it is my nephews, nieces, or the children of my friends, I seem to have whatever it is that makes children feel comfortable.

    My nephew, the one who knows how to throw a tantrum, is a really sweet kid when he’s not trying to redefine the rules of acceptable behavior in public. He’ll listen to me when he’ll ignore his parents. Of course, that might be because he and I share the same emotional age. 😉

Comments are closed.