Monday, June 24, 2019
Brothers just like any others
"Max, I'm going to help you down the stairs!" Ben says, and he dashes over.
Max is pretty good at getting downstairs on his own. He takes it slowly, holding onto the railing as best he can.
"Ben, Max is fine," I say. I'm a little worried that Ben will tug too hard and throw Max off balance.
"It's OK!" Max tells me. He gets that Ben wants to lend a hand, and he is game to indulge him. That's pretty mature.
This is one of the first times I've seen Ben offering to help Max. They get along really well but he's also competitive with him, and I can understand why: Max gets plenty of attention from me and Dave and Ben wants to make sure he's getting his fair share, if not more. He's not beyond giving Max a good shove now and then or yelling "Go away, Max!"
Max is pretty good natured, and takes it all in stride although at times he argues back or roars "NO!" The two of them get up before the rest of us and Ben will go downstairs to hang with Max in the living room; plenty of times, I'm awoken by a shouting match over the remote control.
"How do they get along?" people will ask, and I smile and say, "Oh, they have a totally typical relationship. Sometimes they are best friends and sometimes, they are at war."
Max is mainly an awesome big brother, as he has been since Ben was a tot. He'll admonish Ben when he's jumping off the couch or spraying water from the sink. A lot of times, he's just completely charmed by him, as happened this weekend when Ben took off his clothes and ran around our front lawn, naked, and Max kept crackup up. I'm not sure how the neighbors felt.
Every so often, Ben will be immersed in watching a video on a phone or playing with a toy truck, and Max will walk over and plant a kiss on Ben's head. Every single time, I melt even though Ben typically responds "EWWWWW!"
On the porch stairs that day, Ben ended up holding the tips of Max's fingers and the two of them inched down, one step at a time, just two brothers looking out for each other.