Who’s the boss? Usually Big Guy
I don't think I was ever as bad as Big Guy, though, who seems to mean it when he says he wants to be a drill sergeant when he grows up. Except he doesn't always want to wait until when he grows up.
A few nights ago, I had to stifle giggles when I walked into the back yard and saw Big Guy pacing back and forth. Boots - wearing boots, because that's what you wear when you're in the Army - was running circles around him.
"Keep going, soldier," Big Guy growled with a glare that would have given Dad flashbacks. "Keep running."
"Mommy, my legs hurt," Boots pleaded.
"So stop," I said.
"I can't.," he huffed. "I'm training."
I try not to intervene beyond reminding Boots that he doesn't have to listen to everything Big Guy says. I've even used the time-honored "if he jumped off a bridge ..." line a few times.
I had to step in the next night, though, as the drill sergeant lined up his recruit and barked. Loudly.
"When I say, 'Good afternoon, everyone,' you say it, too. Understand? Now, good afternoon, everyone."
"Good afternoon, everyone!" Boots dutifully responded.
"No! You don't say 'everyone.' You just say, 'good afternoon.' Let's try again. Good afternoon, everyone."
"Good afternoon, everyone," Boot said quietly.
"No, no, no!" Big Guy erupted.
"That's enough," I said. "That's no way to talk to people."
"But he won't do what I tell him ..."
"But he doesn't always have to do what you tell him," I interrupted, setting back my own campaign to convince Big Guy that interrupting is rude. "Besides, people are more likely to listen when you ask nicely."
They both huffed into the house, Boots mad at Big Guy and Big Guy mad at me. A few minutes later, though, they were gathered around the chalkboard as Big Guy tried to teach Boots how to write a mathematical equation.
"Now, this is what a plus sign looks like. It's kind of like a 't'. Can you try it?"
Boots did it - sort of - and Big Guy smiled magnanimously. "Nice!"
And I smiled, too, at the mini me standing before the board. Now, that's the way you boss a sibling, Big Guy.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.