When Your Son Reminds You of Your Annoying Kid Brother

Everything in life comes full circle

pesky younger brother

God has a funny sense of humor. I barely made it through childhood without tossing my younger brother out a window. Now He’s given me a son who grates on my nerves just the same. Don’t get me wrong: I love my five kids to the moon and back—even this one. And each child o’mine has a signature style for getting under my skin and a particular talent for eliciting rage from everyone else in the family. However this precious soul’s M.O. is identical to that of my brother, both boys having been fated with a classic case of middle-child syndrome.

Not only does this son walk duck-style like his laxsidaisical uncle and require death threats to complete a homework assignment, he has the same eye-rolling effect on my eldest daughter that my brother did on me. And this daughter is the one most like me. So when she confides that she wants to shove her fist straight into his mouth to muffle his whiny little voice, I have to repeat the mantra: I am the parent here. I dole out only good advice.

It’s not easy. Many times, equally exasperated by his efforts to attain negative attention, I’m inclined to commiserate with, “I know, right; he’s like soooooo annoying, isn’t he?”  

But haven’t I evolved since childhood? Can’t a mother’s love transcend her own child’s likeness to that of her own childhood nemesis? Even though my brother and I share a close relationship now, admittedly, I feel her pain. My son is a smart, good-hearted boy who endears himself to everyone, only to reserve the defiant behavior for the confines of his comfortable home.

Please don’t judge me for my candor. It’s just that I’ve got to work like hell to use my own trying experiences to help my other children squash their collective fantasy to toss him out the car window. 

Everything in life comes full circle. Thankfully, if we can recognize problems as disguised opportunities for self-growth, we get another chance to work out unresolved issues. Now more than ever I’ve got to put that child psychology degree to good use and help my son learn to control his feistiness and coach the others to better deal with his irritating conduct.

It’s not all bad news though. Since they constantly compete for attention, this son never basks too long in the limelight as the family pest. Guess that’s the beauty of a big family. In our house, no one can even get away with misbehaving for long.

As for me, I’ve recently begun to meditate.

Darah is the devoted mom of five and wife of one. When she’s not mothering or “wife‐ing,” she’s an author, inspiring speaker, life COPING coach, group facilitator and suicide prevention activist.

Her highly-acclaimed debut memoir, Girl with the Crooked Smile – Stuck in a Moment, is a story that reveals what it really takes to weather life’s storms. It resonates with anyone who has had to muster up the courage and find the faith to press on through hard times.

**In her free time, when she's not tethered to the washing machine, Darah enjoys exercising outside, good music, hot coffee and watching her precocious children negotiate treaties with one another.

And, depending on her mood de jour, you’ll usually find Darah swinging wildly between the frivolous and the philosophical. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter  @darahzeledon or on her website: http://DarahZeledon.com.