Scenario: When your brother confides that your children are the sole reason he has chosen to remain childless. He admits he loves them and they are little angels but the variety that have come straight from the guts of hell. His pet name for them, ‘The hell’s angels’ now makes a great deal of sense.
My beautiful little ankle biters can be a trifle overbearing sometimes. I accept this. Loud and shouty and more than partial to mischief, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I feed them a bag of speed each morning for breakfast, but this aside I still didn’t know if my brother was joking or not. He has managed to remain childless and now in his late thirties it’s probably unlikely he will be a dad which is a shame because he’s the perfect candidate to be a parent in a big kid meets protector sort of a way. He does have step children though so his potential to air his parenting talents haven’t been totally lost.
Then I remembered a particular visit my brother had made to my mums when we had been there. It involved my then 6 year old boy who was going through a phase of pulling down peoples pants from behind when they weren’t looking because he thought it was hilarious. Which lets face it, is always funny in any situation. He had claimed more than one victim with this killer move including but not limited to my Father In Law. The time he had done it to his Grandad, everyone in the living room had got an eyeful they didn’t want. Grandad had been carrying a tray of tea at the time which rendered him helpless and made it impossible for him to pull his shorts back up straight away which was a bit awkward but totally brilliant at the same time!
My ankle biters had terrorised my brother from start to finish during this visit and it was nicely concluded with my 6 year old giving him the biggest wedgie I’d ever seen a thirty something get from a small child, quickly followed up by his signature pant pulling move. It is probably important to note that this happened on the driveway in full view of the neighbours in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. It is also equally important that I mention my brother had made the unfortunate decision to go commando that day. After remembering this little nugget I realised the probability of him being serious about why he was childless was fairly high.
I don’t hold this against him, far from it in fact. To me it is a huge compliment. My anklebiters have personality and I love it. I appreciate that my life would most likely be easier and less frustrating if they were quiet, well behaved and didn’t earn themselves titles like ‘The Hell’s Angels’ but honestly who wants that? Strong personalities are something to be celebrated and without a doubt an asset in this world we live in. I’m sure over time and with the introduction to high school, college and various other life adventures that they will be brought down a peg or two so I feel grateful for their strength of character because one day they’ll need it. It’s also a bit of a relief to all involved that my boy seems to have outgrown his love for making family members do involuntary moonies so relax people, no need for those very tight belts anymore.