Friday, July 26, 2013


My oldest son is so much like my brother (and I imagine my husband) was as a little guy. He's steady. He's content. He's not overly competitive.

My youngest son is so much like I was.

Everything, absolutely everything, is a competition.

Today, during lunch, I walked down the stairs to find food hanging over Matthew's lips. His mouth was at maximum capacity. I tried to figure out why he'd crammed so much food into his trap. Trying to answer me, he gestured frantically and mumbled. I finally figured out what he was saying. "I need to beat Garrett."

"You do not need to beat him. Swallow everything in your mouth before you take another bite."

His brother calmly continued to take reasonable bites of his lunch. I went to move the laundry into the dryer. A couple minutes later, I reentered the kitchen. Matthew's mouth was jammed full food. He had two small pieces of bagel left in his hands and he was actually gagging on the massive amount he'd shoved into his face.

"This is not okay," I told him. "We do not shove so much food into our mouths that we gag. This isn't an appropriate way to eat. Put those pieces down on your plate."

He began to cry. Garrett had about three bites left so I told Matthew that he wasn't allowed to finish eating the other pieces of his lunch until Garrett was done. His crying turned to sobbing. Eventually, he swallowed the enormous bite of food. "BUT I HAVE TO BEAT GARRETT!" he wailed.

Oh Lord, help us all. It would appear that I'm raising myself.

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