I instantly sympathized because I, too, was the big sister, and there were days when my younger sister drove me batty too. I nodded yes to Ab and turned my attention to Ethan who was hiding behind the door in an attempt to scare Abbie as she walked by it.
"Ethan. Can you please stop antagonizing your sister?"
He paused and hopped out of his hiding place. I knew that that was too easy, so I waited for his next move.
"Mom, what's tag-o-nize?"
"Antagonize. It means to try to drive your sister crazy on purpose. It means to do things that you know that she does not like just because you can do them, " I reasoned. "It makes her not want to play with you."
He pondered my words, hopped off my lap, and went to play with his Star Wars men in his room. I figured that he had understood my explanation and that was that.
But it was not.
Yesterday, after our Sunday dinner, the kids asked if we could go get an ice cream treat. Ice cream sounded good to me ( and really, when does it not?), so I loaded up the kiddies in the mom mobile and headed to the local ice cream shop, a Dairy Queen.
On the way there, Ethan asked from the back seat, "Mom? Can I get a tag-o-nize blizzard?"
I didn't understand him right away. "What E? What kind of blizzard do you want?" I questioned.
"A tag-o-nize blizzard. I saw it on a commercial," he explained. "It has peanut butter cookies and it will make me drive Abbie crazy."
This time I paused. What in the world was he talking about? Hmmmmm. Then our earlier conversation dawned on me, and I had it figured out.
"Do you want an antagonizing blizzard Ethan?" I asked.
Instantly, he smiled ear to ear and said, "Yep! I want peanut butter and to drive Abbie crazy."
Abbie did not.
"Ethan. There is no antagonizing blizzard. There is no blizzard that will magically give you power to torture your sister. There is, however, a Tag-along blizzard at Dairy Queen, and it has peanut butter and chocolate cookies in it."
His smile disappeared briefly and he said, "Well, I suppose that I'll get that one instead."
He was quiet, but as a mom, I could spy into his heart, and I knew . . .
he really wished there was a tag-o-nize blizzard.
Although, after a dose of sweet cream and sugar, he was certainly back to his pesky, antagonizing ways.
I should say . . . poor Ab.
Because really . . . any blizzard is an antagonizing blizzard when it comes to little brothers.