Nobody messes with my brother, but me!
That was my rule growing up. I would torture my little brother; I was the ultimate big sister bully. I’d shove him round, call him names, throw his toys out the window onto the road and generally give him hell just for daring to exist. Don’t get me wrong, he was quite capable of giving as good as he got, but I was pretty vile to him a lot of the time.
However, for as much as we abused each other, we were pretty locked in solid as our own little gang. I loved him to absolute distraction and we would play for hours, laughing and making up games. I loved to make him laugh more than anything in the world, and I was very protective of him. If anyone dared to mess with him I was all over it, because if anyone tried to hurt him or did him wrong I was furious, even if I had done twice as worse to him myself that morning. And he was the same, the protective brother even when I wished he’d back off and let me be.
I see so much of that in Miss Rose and Z. Miss Rose will shove him around, steal his toys, and generally complain loudly that he’s there. Z will smack at her, steal her toys, and squeal a loud protesting squeal if she’s stood in the wrong place. They are absolute worst enemies… apart from when they’re best of friends. The miss one another, they cuddle, they play. They will hold hands and run off together giggling and they love being together.
Never is their team up more apparent than when other children are around. However horrid they’ve been to one another moments before, if you put another child into the mix, the poor little mite doesn’t stand a chance.
Today we took them shopping and outside one of the shops was a pink pop up princess castle tent. Both made for it and, ordinarily, a battle would have raged over who got to be inside… until another little boy showed up. He followed them in all smiles, ready to play.
I heard from inside the tent Miss Rose’s little voice pipe up, “Get out now, you boy!”
Then Z appeared, holding the tent door open, pointing sternly and said, “OUT!”
The TwoTwo’s had spoken, the little boy was dismissed.
At playgroup a couple of weeks ago, Miss Rose was sat on a chair, Z leaning against it, and they were chattering happily. A little boy approached and leaned on the other side of the chair, sliding his hand up it towards Miss Rose.
“NO!” protested Rose, smacking his hand away.
“NO!” joined in Z, angrily pointing for him to go away.
But the little boy didn’t go away.
Miss Rose and Z had a moment of eye contact, communicating far more than I fully appreciated at first, then left the little boy on his own and came running over to ask for biscuits. I handed both a biscuit which they took nicely then instantly ran back to where the boy was. They stood in front of him, side by side, leaning in with a menacing look in their eyes and, very slowly, ate their biscuits. A taunting look was in their eyes and wicked smiles over their lips, and soon the boy turned and fled.
The TwoTwo’s are a gang. There is a lot of infighting, there is a lot of competition for leadership, but ultimately they are side by side, fighting each other’s corners, and very much attached.
My little brother lives in another country and has an entirely different life to me. We communicate sporadically via Facebook, but he has a massively impressive and busy career life and I might not even see him again until he comes back in to England in a couple of years time. He still winds me up, still annoys me just by being, and still makes me want to poke him firmly in the nose whilst blowing raspberries. But, like Miss Rose and Z, I know damn well if I have a problem he’ll fight my corner to the death, and if anyone hurts him you can be sure I’ll make sure nobody finds the body.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!