Somewhere between my first and second birthdays, I got hair. Like, actual hair. I sported that reddish fuzz for roughly 19 months. Then, all of a sudden, I had two little boy cousins, another brother and…. hair. Soft, blonde, wavy hair.
But my hair isn’t that important in this chapter.
Let’s talk about David.
David was born 2 years, 2 weeks and 2 days after me. I have an adorable picture of me holding that bundle of irritation for the first time. I loved that baby! I’ve been told that when Grandma was going to change his pants one day, I said, “NO! I’m going to do it! He’s MY brother.”
I was two.
It didn’t take me too long to figure out that MY brother was nothing more than a brat.
I remember one day, David, in all his preschool brilliance, was going to take a swig of ammonia, just to see what it would do. Being the over-protective, attentive big sister that I was, I screamed at him not to do it. He didn’t. (Good job listening, Lil Bro!)
But Mom heard me scream and I was put to bed early for screaming.
The only thing I had to say about that for many years was, “????” And then I got older and wondered how it was better to have a kid drink a cleaning solution than to hear someone speak (perhaps) a little too loudly, encouraging him not to. I’ve never understood that one.
I was bitter about that for a very long time.
David didn’t speak until he was 3. As far as I understand, he didn’t even do the “mama, dada, googoo gaga” thing. But when he was 3, one day he decided to talk. And when he did, he started speaking in complete sentences. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do it. He was just being a brat.
I say “Brat” with as much affection and gentleness as I can muster.
Davie was the baby of the family for quite a few years. He still has bits and pieces of the Baby of the Family personality. Like, he says really outrageous things to try to get a reaction out of people.
Dave has a variety of interests, and a personality that doesn’t let him stop pursuing something until he’s mastered it. Like, flying, for example. He began with kites. Then he moved on to flight-related computer games. His interest in aviation led him to join the Air Guard. He served for 6 years and hated the “military” aspect of it, so when he was done, he pursued his second passion. Frying donuts. (Really.) And since that doesn’t exactly pay well, he pursued his third passion: Music. He’s been part of several bands, and has spent lots of time and energy teaching himself all about sound in preparation to open his own production company, which he did earlier this year.
It took several years, but I did get past seeing him as Brat. We will explore that topic at a later time.