Oh, Brother

I have a much, much younger brother back at home. When I introduce him to people as my brother, they look at him, then look at me, and then think, “mistake!” My parents more kindly refer to him as a “surprise.” Seeing as how I had been through several sex ed classes by the time he was born, I’ve always known better. Also, I’d rather have not known in my high school years that my parents still had a sex life.

pawsoxberm.jpgWhen those who don’t know us see my brother and I in public, they’re more likely to think we’re father and son. So I imagine that’s what happened this weekend when I took him to his very first minor league baseball game. It was one thing for me to stumble over my own words as I asked for a child’s ticket. It was another thing to be quietly judged as a parent by the other parents around me.

I have to admit that I don’t see my brother that often. So, when I get a chance to go home, I find myself spoiling him as though I was a grandparent. I take him out to the beach for chowder and clamcakes. I take him to the Science Museum. I take him out for ice cream. I’m clearly the favorite sibling, but that’s probably only because I buy him off.

Friday night’s ballgame was no different. He got everything he wanted. When we were in the team shop before the game, my brother wanted a pennant. “Chris, you should buy me this,” he told me. How can I say no to that? At two dollars, I figured he was going to be the cheapest date I’ve ever had. Directly behind me in line, another child saw my brother with the pennant and asked his parents for the same. They sternly lectured the child. “You can’t just get everything you want,” his mother said.

The guilt was poured on even heavier when I bought my brother a cup of french fries. We came back to our seats on the left field berm and plopped down with our fries. In no less than ten seconds, a little girl next to us was pointing in our direction, asking her parents for fries. “No,” her mother said. “They’ll make you fat.”

I nearly burst into laughter, but I avoided any eye contact with that family for the rest of the game. I feared getting a stare-down from the girl’s mom.

Now, to be fair, her mom was pretty hot… definitely a MILF. So the little girl’s got genetics on her side, and laying off the fries would probably do her some good. But I couldn’t help but think that I was being judged for spoiling my brother.

Of course, it isn’t my fault that these kids’ parents have principles. I can’t help the fact that they’re not willing to put out a simple two or three bucks to give their child their every want and need. I can’t help that they’re not willing to succumb to the puppy-dog faces and the “pleeeeeease, pretty pleeeeases” that their kids pull on them. Is it really my fault that I can’t say no?

Yes, it is. 

I am going to make a horrible parent.

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8 Comments

Filed under What I Did This Weekend

8 responses to “Oh, Brother

  1. caitlynintherye

    That just melted my heart a little. If I really like the kid, I am a complete sucker for the puppy dog eyes and pouty lips.

  2. just wait until he’s 16 and hitting you up for a car.

  3. I know all about this. My sister just had a baby. My cubicle is covered in her photots and god be damned if that kid doesnt get everything she ever wants ever. She six months old and hassad face down pat. People think she is mine all the time until they see the panic on my face when they ask me what my daughter’s name is.

    PS You just made yourself about a thousand times more attractive. Guys who are good with kids are way hot.

  4. I hate my keyboard at work. I swear I can spell and type.

  5. The Joy

    I miss both you crazy Rhode Islanders! I think you should spoil your brother with a trip to DC.

  6. I babysat my friend’s 1.5 year old a few weekends ago. I am technically old enough to be a parent, but I really don’t think I exude “mom” quality yet. However, everyone just assumes you’re the mom.

    The baby was wearing these really cute purple crocs and a woman we met thought that crocs are bad for babies’ feet. I shrugged and said I had no clue, and she got absolutely irate with me for not caring about the kid. Other people were confused when I didn’t know how long she’d been walking and other such “vital” information. (I rarely corrected their assumption that I was the mother. It’s much funnier that way.)

  7. i have a brother like that… and i remain his favourite sibling.

    the fact the one between us is a sociopath helps, however, i’d like to pretend it’s all those movies i took him to, the baseball games, and the books i used to read to him.

    we’ll not discuss the fact i told him the monster under the bed would get him if he moved when i put him to bed at night.

  8. Sheila

    I give you kudos for taking your younger brother to the game. Your Mom probably enjoyed the respite. As far as being a good parent, your Mom gave you a good solid background, so I suspect you’ll handle it well.

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