Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Little brother

Simon is two and a half, just a few weeks shy of two years younger than Tristan. You could never convince him of that, though. Far as Simon is concerned, he and Tristan are equals, and there is nothing that Tristan can do that Simon can't do, too.

That makes the whole school issue a little prickly. Tristan loves school; loves it so much that he asked me at least three times each day on Saturday and Sunday when he could go back to school again. I'm hoping that enthusiasm carries him through high school at least.

And of course I want to bolster that enthusiasm, so I ask him about his activities, and his classmates, and the other minutia of his day. Through it all, Simon interjects regularly with things like "I go to school, too! My turn?" It's the first time in Simon's life that they haven't been spending all day every day together, and I think it's been hard on him. I try to drum up the same enthusiasm with Simon for the daycare provider, but it's obvious to all three of us that it's not the same. Darn smart kids. Dumb ones would be much easier to fool.

Even though they're two years apart, I've come to think of the boys as on relatively equal footing. But two years is a big gap, and there are going to be a whole lot of things in the next couple of years that Tristan can do that Simon simply won't be ready for, whether by externally-imposed age restrictions or simply different social circles. I guess it's not reasonable to expect a birthday invitation from a classmate would include preccocious younger brothers, but it's rather painful to try to explain to the two year old who got left behind, let alone explaining to the big brother that you'd rather he didn't talk about the party at home. I skipped enrolling Tristan in swimming lessons this fall, simply because there was no equivalent for Simon - he's already done the Parents and Tots level, and he's too young for the preschool lessons. But is that fair to Tristan? Ah, the angst!

And yet, whether because of or despite my clumsy efforts, they are clearly becoming friends as well as brothers. Tristan has decided in the past few days that he is "Lightning McQueen" from the Disney movie Cars, and has taken to calling Simon "Mater". Neither one of them has seen the movie yet, but Beloved assures me that Mater is Lightning McQueen's congenial sidekick, and Tristan has bestowed a compliment on Simon with this title. It's a fairly accurate representation of their relationship at this point, not to mention how adorable it is to listen to them say, "Goodnight, Mater!" "Goodnight, Light Queen."

Some time between now and Christmas, we'll be moving Simon from his crib in his own room into a big-boy bed - in Tristan's room. Stay tuned to see how that transition fares! And if there is any justice in the universe, the pregnancy gods will give me back my precious coffee before then. Cuz I think I'm going to need a LOT of caffeine to get through those days.