It was nearly time for rugby and the boys weren’t ready. They’ve been going to sleep later and later. The previous night I found my younger son still awake at 11.15. And not for the first time.
I was getting ready myself when I heard what can only be described as a blood-curdling scream. It went on and on and on. There was a brief pause for breath and it started again. Screaming, screaming and screaming. I’d never heard anything like it. I didn’t know who it was, all I knew was that I was terrified and I had to get upstairs fast.
It’s no exaggeration to say I was expecting a broken limb or vast quantities of blood.
What I found was my younger son standing at the top of the stairs in his new onesie (which he loves, he’s very particular about onesies, especially new ones) covered in what at first appeared to be vomit.
‘He spat on me! He spat on me!’ he sobbed and screamed.
It was toothpaste. Spat at him by his brother.
Horrible, but probably not worthy of the scream which had left my husband and I literally shaking.
My husband told him off for screaming, I peeled the dirty onesie off him and he ran off in floods of tears and slammed his door. My husband snatched the toothbrush off my eldest and chucked it (it broke).
My eldest was angry, but defiant. He felt he’d done nothing wrong (despite the fact we’d all seen the evidence of his wrong-doing with our own eyes). There were no tears from him.
Slowly we pieced together what had happened, but I suspect we don’t have the full story. It was a classic case of six of one and half a dozen of the other, but, as ever, much of the blame seemed to lie with my eldest.
Working back from the spitting incident, my younger son had allegedly punched his brother. He’d hit him for calling him gay (how many times do I have to tell them that calling someone gay is not funny and shouldn’t be used as an insult?). My eldest had apparently called his brother gay because my younger son had teased him about his spots.
And that was it. The scariest scream in history was because of that.
Yes, it’s pathetic.
Please tell me we’re not the only family who has to deal with this sort of nonsense?
If anyone ever wonders why I don’t name my kids or share recognisable photos of them, this is why. Because their behaviour was embarrassing and they would be embarrassed if their friends read this. But I will never shy away from sharing these stories about my kids and being totally honest about the highs and lows of parenting teens, tweens and siblings.