The boy is a typical active young kid. Seemingly always on the move. Chatting up a storm. And quite frankly, he's never met a "no" he's not tried to nag his way past. He likes to play, big, loud, energized games of tag and hide and seek. He likes to involve anyone he can lay eyes on. He can wear the most fit adult out in no time flat.
Don't get me wrong. I love playing with him - with both of them. I look forward to sunny days when we can build sand castles and blow bubbles. I like climbing the rock wall of our swing set or playing ball. I like all the things we do. Just sometimes I like a break. Sometimes I like to get to drink my coffee before it's cold. That's not something he quite gets. He's still of the mind that I can have those breaks when it fits into his schedule.
This morning, as we stood in the kitchen gathering breakfast, my wee-clone gave it back to the big kid.
Logan stood next to me, asking me repeatedly if he could have a bagel with just a little bit of cream cheese, despite the fact I was already putting his mini-bagel in the toaster as he nagged me. Megan walked up to him and stared at him. "Brabah." she declared, still refusing to call him by name even though she is quite capable of saying it. I imagine them as old, grey haired siblings in their 90s -- in this day dream she's slightly bent over and still calling him "Brother."
Logan ignored her, as he is sometimes apt to do.
Megan, learning at the knee of the master, was determined to not take 'no' (spoken or implied) for an answer. She extended one, little pudgy toddler finger and began to repeatedly poke him in the chest as she chanted "Brabah" over and over.
It wore me down before it did him. "Logan," I said in a tone that he recognizes to mean "Mommy means business."
He looked up at me. I continued, "Your sister would like to tell you something."
He sighed. He looked annoyed. He moved his gaze from his toasting bagel to his sister. "Yes Megan?" He was using that voice that clearly settles upon the eldest the moment the youngest takes her first breath. The one that says "I merely tolerate you sometimes, you know." I know I used this same tone on my little brother as we grew up.
Megan was undaunted. Attention was attention. She could stop poking him. She smiled. She started to walk away from him. She turned and looked over her shoulder. "Brabah chase. Run!" And with that she took off. She loves this game - they run a lap around the circle of our house - the front hall to the living room to the dining area to the kitchen to the hall and back for more. Over and over. Squealing. Laughing. Chasing.
Logan laughed. He likes the game too. He started to run. He quickly moved ahead of her, which made her laugh more. He did a few laps and then stopped in the kitchen once more. Megan was behind him, chanting "chase, chase, run Brabah!"
He exhaled deeply and slowly. His shoulder sank a bit. He looked up with the face I recognized as having made myself on occasion. He started to speak. He was confiding in me. He was looking for someone to commiserate. "She's wearing me out!" he said with all the seriousness a 3 1/2 year old boy can muster.
I grinned. Oh heck, ok, I admit it. I laughed and I wasn't laughing "with" him. No I was laughing "at" him. I choked it back though. And then instead, I smoothed his hair back and handed him the plate with his bagel. I pulled his chair out for him and placed his orange juice on the table. I patted his shoulder, trying to make him feel like I knew. I understood. We could be in this together. "Tell me about it," I said.
Yet that wasn't the first thing that had popped into my head. Those weren't the words I had to choke back. I resisted that urge. I just smiled as I walked away and thought it instead - Payback's a bitch, kid.