Three, to be exact.
Us parents are way too familiar with the sibling rivalries and the bickering over the the silliest of topics. In these parts, we’ve had so many disputes over the years that we’ve had to name them: Griffen and Cooper.
Also affectionately known most days as Oil and Water.
One is 15, which means he can carelessly spout the career averages of an NBA power forward and immediately inspire the 19-year-old to question the accuracy of those stats and there you have it: it may as well be Ali and Frazier coming out of their corners in Manila.
Usually it ends in some sort of 21st-century Wild Wild West showdown of who can grab his phone quick enough to settle the dispute with a Google search.
Oil: “Dude, it’s 22.1, not TWENTY-FIVE!”
Water: “Well that’s what I MEANT! GEEEEEEZ!”
If I ever meet Dirk Nowitzki, I’m going to shake his hand—and then sucker punch him in the throat.
Sports and food. Who took the last cookie?! Where’s the Dr. Pepper?! Who ate the last of the kale (okay, that has never happened but you get my point).
And candy? This is where we could probably sell tickets. Case in point: Yesterday.
I’m preparing to take Griff back to college and Mom had told him he could take some of the 25-piece box of Valentine’s Day chocolates back with him. So he’s in the kitchen, making his way toward the chocolate box. Cooper? Safely tucked away in bed upstairs because of a snow day — no doubt dreaming sweetly, and of the chocolate variety.
Griff: “Well, I guess I’d better leave a couple pieces of chocolate so Cooper doesn’t FREAK OUT and accuse me of eating them ALL.”
Me (never looking up from my coffee): “Pretty noble of you, really.”
Griff (picking through the chocolates): “Freaks out over EVERYTHING. Sheesh!” and caps Act II of his Annoying Little Brothers drama with a shake of his head and an eye roll.
As he heads back upstairs, I go over to refresh my cup and notice Griff’s baggy. Full of about a dozen chocolates. I lift the box—seems pretty light. So I lift the lid to see just what, exactly, we have going on in there.
Yep, he left some candy, alright.
1 Orange Cream and 1 Fruit & Nut Caramel.
“May we love each other with brotherly love. Love cast out all fears.” (Lailah Gifty Akita)
Love also apparently cast out all the good chocolates.
Now, I’m no genius father nor any kind of parenting expert, but I’ve been at this 21 years now, so I usually have a decent feel as to when to leave well enough alone. You know, imploring those hardened parenting mantras of “Pick Your Battles,” “All’s Fair in Love and War,” “Time to Move to a Cabin Deep in the Woods,” that sort of thing.
In this case, it means I simply close the lid, shake my head, and pour another cup of coffee.
We’ll just file this one away to the “What Coop Doesn’t Know Won’t Kill Him” Department and move on with our day.