Today I used the “Two children are fighting” prompt. This is a rather familiar occurrence in our house(though my kids have a slightly bigger age gap than the two in this scene).
“I told you to leave me alone. Why do you always have to follow me around?”
Jonas came around the corner just as a sharp cry sounded. “Why’d you pinch me?” his niece, Adriane asked her brother, Edward.
But, the boy spotted him, and he glanced away. “I didn’t touch you,” he said.
But, as Adriane was rubbing her arm, Jonas didn’t believe it for a second. “What’s going on here?” he asked.
“Nothing,” Edward said. He wouldn’t meet his uncle’s eyes.
“I was just trying to play with him,” Adriane said.
Edward groaned. “Isaiah’s coming over. I don’t want to play with you.”
Jonas had to fight to hide his smile. This scene certainly brought back memories. Adriane and Edward might not be twins, like him and Arcelia, but they were only about a year apart, so he imagined it was similar. And there were times he hadn’t wanted her pestering him, especially if he was having a friend over.
But, his brother had left him in charge while he and Denise had gone to her doctor’s appointment. Catarina was taking a nap, not that she gave him much trouble even when she was awake. But, this meant it wasn’t the time to reminisce. “Edward,” he said, making his voice firm. “You don’t pinch your sister. You should know better.”
“She was being annoying,” he whined.
“I don’t care. You don’t put your hands on her like that. I can tell Leo and Bryan to just turn around and take Isaiah back home.” The boy’s lip stuck out as he pouted, but Jonas turned to his niece. “Adriane, if Edward asks you to leave him alone, you should leave him alone. You should respect his wishes.”
The smirk fell away from her face at that, realizing her brother wasn’t the only one getting in trouble. “That’s not fair, Uncle Jonas.”
“Yes, it is. He has the choice whether to play with you or not. If he chooses not to, you need to respect that. Just like he needs to respect you by not touching you.”
“Sorry,” Edward muttered, even though Jonas wasn’t going to force that. What was the point in making the kid apologize when he didn’t mean it. That didn’t seem like the right lesson to teach, rather than just respecting each other’s boundaries in the first place.
The doorbell rang, and Jonas made his way slowly to it. At least he was down to using a cane for balance as he got accustomed to the prosthetic leg. His physical therapist assured him he’d be walking completely on his own soon.
He opened the door to see Leo and Bryan standing there with their son, Isaiah. Jonas smiled at the two men then down at the boy. “We had a bit of a situation, but I think it’s sorted out. Go on in, Isaiah.”
“Everything okay?” Leo asked when the boy had jogged inside.
“Yeah,” he said, “just sibling stuff. Nothing Arcelia and I didn’t go through.”
Leo laughed softly at that. “Oh, I know how that is. My brother and I were constantly at each other when we lived in the same house.”
“I just hope I handled it right. Toby left me in charge. I wouldn’t want to let him down.”
Leo set a hand on Jonas’ shoulder. “I don’t think it’s possible for you to do that.” He glanced at his husband then back to Jonas. “We’ll be back in a couple hours to pick Isaiah up.”
They turned to leave, and Jonas stepped back inside. He so wished Leo was right. But, it felt like lately he was letting everyone down. He just wished he knew how to change that.
He needed to figure out how to change that.