The balance of power in our family has shifted. It was always about the boys. They did everything together – played together, laughed together, watched telly together and argued together. When we were out, they walked together and sat together. They wound up their sister together and she did her own thing.
But since my son has been at secondary school, things have gradually changed. He’s a bit too cool for them – and they’re having too much fun to be bothered anyway.
He’s up before them and out of the house while they’re still eating breakfast. They take way too long over their breakfast because they’re enjoying each other’s company too much. They chat about school and laugh at things that have happened (the things they think are shockingly naughty are so tame). My son gives my daughter advice and talks to her about the work she’s doing – because he remembers year 2 well.
I have to nag them to stop talking (and laughing and jumping round the room), hurry up eating and GET DRESSED. But secretly I love it. I love listening to their little conversations – the innocence of it all, but also the humour. My younger son has a remarkable sense of humour. I love the way they clearly enjoy these conversations and this time together so much. Without the big, bad brother spoiling it for them.
I feel slightly sorry for my eldest that they have this special time away from him, but pulling away from his brother is not just down to leaving for school earlier, it’s also his own decision. And it’s nice for my daughter to finally have a friend who takes an interest in her and enjoys talking to her.
I’m aware that in just over two years things will shift again. My younger son will almost certainly be at a different school to his brother, but will them both being at secondary school mean they grow closer again and my daughter gets left behind again? Or will my eldest, as a teenager and a year 10, still be too cool for his year 7 brother? No doubt the balance of power will continue to shift over the coming years.
In our house, two is company but, sadly, three is definitely a crowd.