The politics of sibling rivalry

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS JANET CHRISTIE , MAGAZINE WRITER
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Mum’s the word

Are you still talking about politics?” says Youngest Child, entering the kitchen, where Eldest and Middle are way ahead, tea-wise.

“I’m so sick of hearing this,” she says. “It goes on and on.”

She’s right, we are always banging on about politics in our house.

“Well, I’ll have to learn about it I suppose, because I’ll get a vote in two years, so start again.”

“OK, what Eldest was saying was…”

“It’s just a bit boring…”

“Sorry...”

“But keep going, I need to know.”

“Just vote the same as us,” says Eldest, indicating himself and Middle.

“I might not agree,” she says.

Middle and Eldest do indeed agree on politics. Come to think of it, they agree on a lot these days.

“OK, we could talk about something else,” I say. “What did you do at school today?”

“Art, Spanish, maths… watched a fight outside, after.”

“No! Were you at the front again, rent-a-mob?”

“Yeah.”

“Shame on you.”

I suppose she doesn’t get to spectate fisticuffs at home since peace broke out between the boys after a black eye and a split lip. No more arms broken or cymbals embedded in a brother’s glabella (the bit between the eyebrows and nose for those less familiar with A&E). Happy days.

Now it’s all very grown up.

Until there’s a badge with a bear on it lying on the kitchen table.

“Aw yaaas,” says Middle Child. “I’ll have that.”

“No. I’ll have that,” says Eldest in an Eldest Child way that makes Middle bristle. “I need it,” he says.

This isn’t over, I sense.

That night Eldest’s girlfriend appears and it’s her birthday.

“Happy birthday,” I say. “Did Eldest get you anything? (I’m aware of a Prince T-shirt and Trainspotting book, so feel safe to ask.)

“Yes! This,” she says and points at the badge. “I love bears.”

And Middle approves.

Fur enough.