Sunday, January 11, 2004

sibling rivalry

the kids spent the day here today. that's 2 boys and my tiny little girl whose picture appears below.

the 2 boys are a handful. we have to constantly remind them to share, to eat, to stop making footprints in each other's faces, to wash their hands, and of course, to be nice to each other.

around mid-afternoon one of the boys started complaining that he had a headache. and of feeling dizzy. so we let him rest on the sofa and tucked a blanket around him. the other boy was very accommodating. he got water for his kuya, ran errands for him, and basically tried to be nice. no mean feat for a 4 year old.

then he got tired. and started complaining that he had a headache too, and that he wanted to lie down. he probably noticed that his kuya was getting all the attention. when my sister cradled kuya on her lap, he wanted to be carried to. when my brother in law carried kuya wrapped in a blanket and slung like a sack of potatoes over his shoulder, the ading (term for younger sibling in ilocano) wanted to be carried like a sack of potatoes too.

i guess it cannot be helped that children will vie for attention. but then i can't seem to remember going through the same thing when i was small.

there were 8 of us. then my older brother died when he was 14. (i thought i would die at 14, too, but that's a different story.)

there were 7 of us left, 1 boy and 6 girls, with yours truly being the youngest of the lot.

we were spaced at 2 years apart, which is a pretty short gap when you're that many. this probably accounts for the fact (yes, fact) that we don't compete with each other. sibling rivalry did not and does not exist in our family. at least not among us girls.

we were so close that it felt absurd to be envious or jealous of each other. we were too proud of each other's achievements to even care that they were getting more recognition.

people keep asking if i sing as well as my sister. i say no. with a smile. because i don't really care that i don't sing as well. we all have our talents and if i sang well, aba, marami na ang magagalit. akala nila alang favorite si papa jesus. hehehe.

seriously though, i think we grew up pretty well. nobody got jealous of the others, and nobody competed with each other. we all went our own ways, somehow. with different likes and hobbies.

looking at the kids i found myself thankful that we grew up the way we did.

or maybe it's because we're girls that we're so well adjusted.

yes. that explains it. that explains it all.
"oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"

-dr. seuss

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