Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Key to Her Heart

Number Two dotes on The Boss in a way that seems a bit unmerited at first glance.

To everyone else he is a stoic. He goes about his business with steadiness and care. He eats. He digests. He spews from both ends. His mouth, when not occupied in an aspect of the aforementioned process, is a straight line.

When he sees The Boss, his lips arc. The curve comes closer to a half circle with each moment of attention his superior deigns to send his way. He positively beams.

For the past three months, The Boss has been prone to walking away after one look, or slap, or curt word flung in Number Two's direction. It was as though he'd go away if she ignored him. But now there is idolization in the set of her brother's features, and she thinks she might like him a bit more. Sometimes she leans in for a closer look. Sometimes she starts to coo. She often introduces him with the proud, emphatic point of her finger: "That's my brother. Right there. That's him."

The realm of the sibling is one strange place. Where else can selfishness and even moments of cruelty garner the kind of devotion that a little brother or sister can give to an older counterpart? But as strange as this nascent ass-kissing behavior may seem on its face, it makes more sense as I think about it. And suddenly it's not foreign at all.

Number Two knows on an innate level what people in different kinds of relationships rationalize much later--that the key to some hearts must slide in through an ego lock.


zellmer said...

My second born does this, too. It's so sweet.
You write so beautifully about it.

toyfoto said...

I have to say, I saw it as simple realization that she is his person. Much closer in age. Much more interesting to watch.

But perhaps it works the other way too. He was about three or four months when he really started to smile and seek his sister's attentions.

Early on my little one growled at the big one when she got too close.
He maybe the one who REALLY calls the shots.

Mary-LUE said...

Well, he's obviously a charmer. I wold love to see that smile come over his face!

slouching mom said...

that's how it was -- EXACTLY -- with Ten and Six.

actually, that's STILL how it is.

Heather said...

You have a smart boy there, survival tactics early on!

My #3 loves her older siblings too...especially her sister. The smiles big sister gets sometimes!

iheartchocolate said...

This is so true. I love the way you put it!

Great post!

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