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I feel like now that there is an ever-changing array of dogs traipsing through The Mom’s house that she is more concerned than ever about this notion of sibling rivalry. As I recall, when we were kids, and dead set on being rivals, she didn’t give much notice to it, rather, she focused her attentions on keeping us from killing one another or burning the house down.

But The Mom is fascinated by the idea of what it would have been like to have siblings. And I can see where she’s coming from to a certain extent – but it’s difficult for me to imagine my life without Crazy D and L’il Sis who, even though we live in different countries (or airport lounges) are the two people on this whole entire planet who have known me for so long and so well. Having siblings is like having a built in best friend except for that when you’re growing up, you go through phases where you want to destroy one another – not because you don’t like the other person, more for sport, to see if you can, or sheer boredom. I don’t recall the three of us being overly rivalrous, though I do remember L’il Sis and I ganging up on Crazy D, but these things are cyclical: now that they live together, when I come home, I’m the odd man out. But the odd one out in a gang of three.

Watching The Mom try to keep charge of all the hounds in the house has given me pause for thought. Time was, I would’ve thought – if only for her own preservation – she wouldn’t have even considered initiating any kind of fracture between the three of us. But seeing the way she is with the dogs makes me wonder: did she egg us on just to see what we’d do?

Because that might explain a lot. I mean, if I was a mother, I imagine I’d get bored pretty quickly, and be in need of some entertainment. You know, being cooped up in a house all day long with three urchins, you’d be in need of some drama, wouldn’t you?

We used to get pulled aside when we’d done something bad. Which was frequently. Comportment was not always our best skill, and infractions were a daily – if not hourly – occurrence.

I wonder if The Mom used to put a bug in one of our ears:

“Now, I know your brother or sister (delete as appropriate) is upsetting you, but don’t you think it might be nice if you went over and gave him/her a big hug?”

Said urchin would dutifully, if with a snarl, go over and administer a lacklustre hug. Which would of course incite something else.

“Why are you touching me? You know I hate that!”

That sort of thing was most likely to come from my department. And it’s understandable now that we know my spine is riddled with arthritis, but back then I imagine it was a bit odd.

“She told me to!” This would be said by pointing.

At that point, I imagine we might have all ganged up on The Mom, and gone off to conspire as to how we would extract our revenge.

And this sort of thing seems to be exactly what she’s doing with the hounds. Giving one a piece of food when she knows full well the others are not to be fed. And even that doesn’t stop her – when Mr Pants is in residence, and Crazy D isn’t about, she’ll feed that dog as though it’s his last day on earth.

So I think she’s bringing it on herself. She’s a sucker for drama, she is. She likes a good adventure, and nothing pleases her more than to be able to tell some kind of ridiculous tale at the dinner table.

Maybe she’s been doing it to the rest of us all these years. In which case, we ought to start planning our revenge, post haste.