I was switching laundry in the basement when I heard yelling—from all the way up in the boys’ bedroom. The boys yell a lot and I’m pretty good at noting the difference between a he-took-my-toy yell and a I’m-hurting-for-real yell. James’s yell became louder and louder so I abandoned the laundry and ran up the (many) stairs and saw this:

Owen wouldn’t let James out.

Now, I felt bad for James, I did, but just look at their faces! I laugh every time I see this picture.

“Siblings that say they never fight are most definitely hiding something.” —Lemony Snicket

We Are All OK

Recently Sophie has enjoyed playing upstairs in her bedroom or our teeny tiny playroom, by herself. This is both weird and wonderful for me, although I admit, when she’s up there for a couple hours, I find myself missing her. But I know I need to respect her alone time.

When I’m downstairs with the boys, I’ll often yell up, “Sophie! Are you OK?” And she’ll yell back “Yes!” If I do this too often, her “Yes!” becomes “Yes, Mom! I’m OK!” (in a completely different tone).

Owen has picked up on this. His favorite thing to do this week is stand at the bottom of the stairs and yell, as loud as he can, “Sophie! Are you OK?” Sophie humors him the first five times, by answering politely. Once tired of it, she yells, “Owen! I’m OK! Stop asking me if I’m OK!” A minute later Owen is yelling up the stairs, “Sophie, are you OK?”

I tell Sophie to ignore him. I reassure Owen that Sophie is, indeed, OK. Still, Sophie responds every time, more and more exasperated.

I know. This is my fault.

But I sort of love it.

“Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.” —Bill Cosby