Sibling Rivalry? Me?

I don’t get it. My daughters are three years apart, they want for nothing, materially or emotionally. But they compete. I don’t get it. What the heck difference does it make who is the first person up or down the stairs?

Was it because my six-year-old had mommy and daddy and, especially, grammy all to herself for three glorious years of utter princessitude before The Interloper came? To be fair, she has adjusted pretty well. Sometimes you’d say she has adjusted fabulously and is the very picture of a perfect older sister — which is convenient, because her younger sister emulates her every move. But then, BAM! A turf war breaks out over who is the greatest colorer or toast eater or…

Crazy. That’s what it is. Unbelievably, mystifyingly, maddeningly crazy. Where in the heck does it come from anyway? I simply don’t get it.

I mean, I never had any of that sibling rivalry nonsense with my older brother.

Or so I thought, until today.

Look, did I make a big deal about it when he became a Father? No! I had no intention of becoming one myself — not that type of father anyway. I preferred the challenge of acquiring the title the hard way. Biologically. Which means I had to get a girl to like me first. If he felt threatened by that, I figured that was his issue. I also figured, he was a priest. He would just “offer it up.”

But did I push him too far by giving myself the title Captain Dad? Apparently I did, though it saddens me to think it. Still, what else am I to make of the situation? You see, not two months after I launched the Captain Dad blog to an adoring readership of spammers and search bots, what does my brother do?

He goes and gets the Pope to make him a bishop. Talk about petty one-upsmanship! Think I’m making this up? Go ahead and read all about it for yourself. Just look at the kinds of things he’s letting people say about him. “A man of outstanding character”… “great talent for cultivating leadership in our future priests”… “a great blessing.” Oh, puh-leeze. Isn’t that going to far? Isn’t that like excessive exuberance or whatever penalty they give you in college football for rubbing it in after a touchdown?

So here I am again, I guess. Second banana. Punk little brother.

Fine, then. I can still prove I’m the bigger man. I’ll be magnanimous in defeat. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Congratulations, Mike. For now. Well played. I’ll just try to console my better self with the fact that the Church could use a few more like you. And my bitter self with the fact that you’ll have to wear a funny hat.

Hmm, wait a minute. A funny hat! Yes, hold on! This changes everything. Why, that could even compensate for me being the one to lose my hair first — even though he doesn’t have a wife and so he he doesn’t even need his freaking hair which is so not fair! But I’ve got him now.

My brother has to wear a funny hat! Yes! I’ve done it! Snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! In your face, bro’! Woof! Woof! Woof!

Uh-oh. I think I just figured out where my daughters might have gotten it. (From their uncle, of course.)

Postscript: In all seriousness, way to go, Mike. I couldn’t be prouder.

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