Monday, February 9, 2009

happy birthday, johnny joe

according to family lore, while my mother was in the hospital having my brother, my grandmother told me a story about a telephone repairman named jake. im not sure what amazing adventure the lineman could've had, but the name seared itself into my not-quite-two-year-old brain and when they brought my brother home, i suggested we call him jake.

to pacify the little demon brewing in my soul, they agreed. so jake my brother was, until my aunt katherine showed up for a visit and declared, "don't call this dear little baby jake - call him johnny joe." and johnny joe he was, until he got old enough to resist.

people who think they should have children spaced close together should think again. i remember being two. i remember the rage of sibling rivalry. i'd have killed him if i could.

a while ago, i read about a pediatrician who has a new technique for handling the toddler terribles. his approach is founded on the premise that children that age aren't civilized. you can't reason with them yet, because they have no ability to reason. the hard-wiring in the brain isn't there. i believe him. i remember being two.

my brother grew up in spite of any effort of mine to the contrary. today he is a successful man by any standard, the wonderful father of two adorable and adored girls. he lives safely on the other side of the country.

i like to think he's a better man because of me.

so happy birthday, johnny joe.... from the sister who let you live.

and furthermore, the war WILL end. blessed be.

16 comments:

Stacy's Random Thoughts said...

Happy Birthday, Johnny Joe! ;)

Love how you added the 'from the sister who let you live'...it was an LOL moment for me! ;)

April said...

Oh, that is too funny! I didn't have much sibling rivalry to deal with...I was the "baby" with two brothers who were 12 and 10 years older than myself. If anything, THEY were probably jealous of ME! Hope your brother has a terrifc birthday!

Laura Rose said...

And now there's a baby jake, too!

Allison said...

Does baby Jake remind you of Johnny Joe?

Lynette said...

Happy B-day for Jake and Johnny Joe. This way you can have two cakes.

It is nice to have survived childhood woes with our siblings and to have affection for them now. LOL I was the youngest of 5 and thought I was suppose to be black and blue for the longest.

Walk in the Woods said...

"he lives safely on the other side of the country. "

You are funny woman! And he is too, I suspect, whether he knows it or not.

jennifersusan said...

I was the youngest of seven, and the sibling before me was 5years older. There wasn't any sibling rivalry, from what I recall, until we were young adults and then it was all my siblings and not really me doing the rivalring (is that a word?). ANYway..I agree about the not being civilized at 2yo. My youngest, and only daughter, is a new 3yo and is still working on not being 2. I don't remember my boys being nearly as wild as she is.
Happy Birthday to your brother!

Selchie said...

you didn't say what the new technique was?... My girls hit two in Sept and oh my lord! I found the best way is to run them a lot and keep them diverted and their tummies full but would be happy for any other suggestions.....)

Martha said...

Ha, ha, loved this post, especially since my brother and I were close in age! He let me live too, much to his chargrin.

Divaeva said...

*laughs* too funny! I better get thank you cards from both my sisters for letting them live!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY JOE!

Mindy said...

Happy Birthday to Johnny Joe!!

I love that story. He is so lucky that you let him live ;)

I live with sibling rivalry every day..... some days I wish they would just take me out of MY misery! LOL

Judy Vars said...

I don't remember being 2 but apparently I punched my baby brother in the belly so hard they took him to the doctor.

Kim said...

Happy Birthday Johnny Joe! All I remember at that age was that mom was pregnant with my brother and her hands swelled. Dad had to put her finger in a vice to cut her wedding band off.

Barely Domestic Mama said...

That was hilarious! My sister and I are 20 months apart. There were quite a few times as a little girl I tried to lose her in stores so that she couldn't come back home with us. Happy Belated Birthday to Johnny Joe!

Mama Krit said...

From the sister who let you live? Ha! I still can't along with my sister (we're a year and a half apart) and I'm in my twenties now. How deeply can sibling rivalry go? We just can't be in the same room for very long before we rub each other the wrong way. It's sad though, but I guess you never get over the wanting to kill each other, at least we didn't! Glad you did!

Patti Gibbons said...

very very funny. My brother and I did not fight much until we were older. We had to stick together to protect one another and figure out how to avoid the other horrors in our life......but it sounds like you had potential a horror too...lol.