All moms should be divas...this one just happens to be in Jersey!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Physics of Sibling Sucker Punches

I remember when I was but a Junior Jersey Diva, my older brother and I fought incessantly. In-cess-ant-ly. Bickering wasn't enough. Fisticuffs were often involved. In a move I'll never understand, we were armed with those inflatable things you put on your hands to whale on each other. It amazes me we made it to adulthood. My younger sister and brother were no better. Several years behind my older bro & I, they were two years apart in age and haunted each other. My sister was merciless until the day my little brother realized he wasn't very little anymore and snapped. One insult too many, and he had her head locked and forced into the dog's crate. Oh relax, she was fine. We had a pretty big dog. She had ample room.

Knowing how sibling rivalry can sometimes get physical, I was well aware two boys may be even more rambunctious. Rambunctious doesn't really scratch the surface of my two. Yes they can get out of hand. I expect that. I'm not that delusional. What I did not expect and marvel at each passing day is the lengths they will go to drive one another insane. Every day boasts the soliliqouy  "Leave him alone- get away from him- why are you hitting him- get off the floor- get away from the window- get away from the stairs- get off the dog- let your brother off the double yellow line."

Brushing teeth leaves one exposed to hip checking. "Get in the shower and then bed," always includes a detour by one son into the other's room. Bear in mind one room is in the opposite direction from the bathroom. The one who has a legitimate reason to pass the other's room can not help but detour in (and "happen" to go up to the loft bed) for a quick bitch slap.

It doesn't matter how large a house we have. There is not enough space to keep them parted. They can not stay away from each other. Ever. For a minute. Grand Canyon? They'd race mules from opposing sides to fight. Pacific Ocean? They'd swim to each other, then strangle/wrestle the other under water. Sharks wouldn't eat them, because they'd be so annoyed by the ruckus.

When in full form, the boys are like sharp-clawed lion cubs. I don't know if baby animals in the wild suffer from ADHD like my barely domesticated beasts. It would help explain why those lions in nature films on the Serengeti all look so frazzled. Here I thought it was chasing wildabeasts in 110° heat. Or the friggin' cackling hyenas. NO- It's hot and their kids are bored and tumbling all over each other rolling into mud. Those poor creatures have to deal with summer vacation everyday. I'm donating to the World Wildlife Fund as soon as I'm off this keyboard.

Can someone, anyone, explain to me the chemistry of developing testosterone? How powerful must it be to overcome basic physics? It can defy gravity, because I've watched the motion of one child moving up slides to tackle his brother at the top. It halts momentum, because a quick sucker punch instantly ceases the movement of a 90lb human in full sprint. And torque? Doesn't stand a chance when the arc of movement involved in tossing a backpack over the shoulder is squashed when the 10 year old is squashed. Acceleration, force, and mass can in fact work in reverse as a 10 yr old child can accelerate enough to generate force to result in a crippled 12 year old mass.

There are two general physics laws I have seen in action that hold true. They occur in a slow-mo blur before my eyes each day:

1) In order for the motion of the object to change, a force must act upon it.
It's true. Inertia is very real. Ask any unsuspecting 10 year old in socks on hardwood floors.

2) Any time a force acts from one object to another, there is an equal force acting back upon the original object.
This too is true. If one is struck by a TV remote, the TV remote suddenly reacts against the initial thrower.

Kudos, Sir Isaac, kudos.

People always say that kids should come with manuals. That would be an utter waste of paper. What they should each ship with is a first aid kit, tasers, a membership in the Merlot of the Month Club, and book on physics. I really do wish now I paid more attention in high school. What's that sound in the distance? Why, that sounds like my sons are running an experiment, testing gravity at the top of my stairs.


  1. Ha ha! I love it! I come from a family of five and believe me, I understand your story. My brothers were the worst. I am definitely thankful for only one boy. :)

  2. Oh my but you have your hands full! I have one brother, 2 years younger. He was an absolute monster and treated me horribly my entire this day (i'm now 46, he 44). Unfortunately we have no relationship to speak of now. He tortured me not only physically, but mentally too. My parents standard intervention was "Just ignore him and he'll quit". I'm here to say it never quit.

  3. Hahahaha how true!! My younger sister and I are 3 years apart and fought like crazy .... that same sister and the youngest are 4 years apart and fought like crazy....who am I kidding we still fight! But me and the youngest get along pretty well 98% of the time!!

  4. Stopping by from the Blog Party!
    Glad to have connected with you!


  5. I am visiting from Miracle Momas Blog Party!!

    I now follow you on GFC.

    I come from a large family and I sure remember the sibling rivalry!

  6. Stopping by to say thank you for joining in our blog party. I have enjoyed looking around your blog. I hope you will join us again in the next one.
    Miracle Momas

  7. I love your list of stuff motherhood should come with instead of a manual - "tasers". lol
    I'm an only child, but in junior high i saw what you describe in action at my best friends house. I looked on in shock as my friend, a GIRL mind you, and her brother physically pummelled each other!
    Ironically, today they are very close and get along great.