“Watch this,” my wife says as dinner winds up.
Our younger son is repeating “Deh, deh” and making the signs for down and please. His brother, just two years older, steps over, scooches back the high chair, and works at the belt clips. Some fidgeting ensues, to which he comically reassures, “Not yet, just a minute.” Amazingly it works: the little one stills, watching his brother’s progress with a patient, bemused smile. These roles – rehearsed, I presume, over that day’s breakfast and lunch – are played eagerly.
When the belt does fall loose the younger boy tilts, torso careening forward. His arms wrap around his brother’s neck; big brother grabs him tight around the chest. Their faces mash into each other’s shirts, making me wonder how the older boy can see as his spine arches back to drag his brother’s girth from the seat. Eighteen months of boy is a serious load for a three-and-a-half-year-old. Other children lift my younger son, but they’re five, six. Three and a half is still little – little and determined.
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