05 December 2013

Two-Headed Boy

Now that I’ve recovered from the turkey-induced hangover . . .

Remember Single White Female? Yeah, so there’s a gender-switched remake happening in my house right now this minute.

Little Brother has become a complete acolyte (and copycat) of the Doozer. Repeats words. Follows him around like he’s a celebrity. Wants to consume him. From the moment he wakes up and then all day long until bedtime. He’s probably dreaming about him, too. He’s obsessed.

“Hi, buddy!” he exclaims when the Doozer enters a room. His excitement that this person is even in the room is so joyous and uncontainable. He forgets all about us. We totally cease to exist. 

I’m pretty sure this is how cults start.

Fortunately, so far at least, this adoration hasn’t gone to the subject’s head. Luckily, the Doozer hasn’t figured out how to be evil, how to manipulate his brother’s interest and use it to his advantage, make the little guy carry out his sinister bidding. We’re not there yet. But I’m sure it’s only a (short) matter of time.

So, in kindergarten, the Doozer has homework. For one thing, he brings a book home every night and reads it aloud to us. It comes home in a bag with a little monster finger that he wears, so he can follow along with the words on the page. Without fail, every night, when he finishes, Little Brother scrambles up on the couch, dons the monster finger himself and hilariously mimics the act of reading the book and following the words. Only, his version is utter verbal nonsense.

While we find this very amusing, perhaps you could figure out how to use a fork properly. Your brother does that too, you know. (Mostly.)

His love or adoration or insanity or whatever it is, it’s so all–consuming that when the Doozer is not around—when he’s at school, for instance—Little Brother will often wander around in a daze repeating his brother’s name and the word school, a sad inner monologue turned outward mantra of existential despair. He literally does not know his place in the world if he’s apart from his desired Doppelgänger.

And it goes both ways. The Doozer has crazy affection for his miniature sidekick. And all of a sudden they’re in this mutual admiration society, like the time we were taking a 40-minute drive to a wedding and they spontaneously began playing the game “Zombie” in the backseat. Not familiar with it? It’s pretty simple. Whenever one of them says the word “zombie,” they both begin growling and shrieking at each other (à la zombies) at a fairly grating, ear-splitting decibel. For half an hour.

“They’re crazy,” we said to each other.

And here’s the thing, the older one is crazy enough. But the younger one just seems to be trying to up the ante. All the time. He seems to be doing an impression of the Doozer, but with unnecessary additional theatrics. Apparently, this is how he’s interpreted what it means to be five. It means simply to be crazy and to be loud. You’re not a 1970s punk rocker, you can be quiet every once in a while.

Sometimes I even think they want to be twins. Or the same person. It’s creepy. They’ll cling to each other. I mean they hug and they’re affectionate and all that, but I also feel like they’re trying to merge/fuse into one creature, one single entity. Our very own two-headed boy.

Is this what Cain and Abel were like? Or the Menendez Brothers? I should really know that, but I can’t remember.

Or maybe I just don’t want to.

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