I have three kids. Tristan is 7, Norah is 5, and Aspen in 8 months. I know that they love each other, but they show it is some really strange ways. Here are some examples.
Eating boogers: My kids are booger eaters. And it’s one thing to watch them eat their own boogers. But it’s quite another to watch them eat each other’s. However, it is not uncommon for one of my kids to not want their own booger, so they pass it to the other, and they chomp down as if they’d just been offered a Skittle. I’ve also caught them eating the baby’s boogers, but I’m not sure if that is a show of friendship or just theft.
Playground Etiquette: I once sat in on a conversation between Tristan and Norah on how if they see each other on the playground, they are obligated to say hello, but do not have to play with each other. I could only assume this is a loose way to show that they are family without ruining their reputations.
Smelling farts: Tristan and Norah are notorious fart smellers. I often catch one smelling the other’s fart and then saying, “Wow! That was a good one.” Then they laugh, and talk about how amazing farts are. Mel and I have tried to put a stop to this, but it just seems to force it underground.
Large wet kisses: The baby doesn’t really get how to show affection, which means the way she kisses it to open her mouth really wide and try to eat your face. Tristan and Norah think this is fantastic, and it has resulted in large, face sucking, wet kisses between siblings. This was cute at first, but now it seems like all of my children’s faces smell like saliva.
Enforcing family rules: Norah really shows her love with this one. She is always trying to keep Tristan and Aspen from getting in trouble by reminding them of family rules. “You can’t have screens until you finish your homework” or “You can’t be in the living room in your underwear.” This always results in Tristan saying, “You’re not the boss,” and Norah giving him a soft-faced look, hand on one hip, that seems to say, “I’m saving your life right now.”
Underwear parties: Nothing says family love like kids hanging out in their underwear. I cannot tell you how often my kid’s strip down and then dance, or wrestle, or play board games. For some reason this seems so natural with little kids, a real show of camaraderie. However, the thought of underwear wrestling my siblings now that we are all in our 30s make my tummy sad.
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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress, and an angry baby girl. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Fast Company, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.