Posted by: Hannah | 12/12/2014

brotherly love

The older boys and I are slowly watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, from the beginning. Thank you, Netflix! I always loved that show so I’m enjoying seeing it again, and they love a) science (or at least, things that sound like they could be science; b) spaceships; c) Wesley Crusher.

I’m thinking ahead a bit to some of the later seasons and episodes, and having a Stern Internal Debate with myself over whether or not to skip some, but for now we’re just having fun.

Last night we watched the episode Datalore, which is basically Data the android’s dark origin story. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, Data finds out that he has an older “brother” – Lore, another android, built along the same specs, but deactivated for being too human; in essence, he’s the evil twin.

Old trope, I know, but it’s done well. And if you’re used to a whole season of cute, harmless Data being the show’s Pinocchio, seeing the same actor suddenly playing a villain is pretty unsettling.

So there were my boys, huddled together under a blanket. They were fascinated by seeing two Datas. They were totally shocked by the OMGHEISEVIL plot, and genuinely saddened by the idea of having a brother you couldn’t get along with.

It struck me again this morning, when all three of them were playing some weird game involving action figures, Lego, a stretchy glove full of polished rocks, and a blanket. They aren’t just brothers – they are best friends. They have little bickering fights now and again (especially when they try to co-play video games, whoever invented that little feature should be sternly chastised) but most of the time, they look out for one another, read to each other, help each other get breakfast and take turns choosing what to watch on Netflix.

I know that I am lucky. I love my sisters and brother now, and am happy to hang out with them anytime, but as kids I remember a lot more fighting. A lot more “get out of my ROOOOOOM!” and “MOOOO-OOOOM, SHE HIT ME!” and “MAKE THIS LITTLE TWERP LEAVE ME AND FRIENDS ALOOOOOONE!”

I have no idea if this will last. I hope it does.




  1. Awwww. I feel the same way about my boys.

    • I love your boys, even at this distance. Wish I could meet them.

  2. I always wonder if happy siblings aren’t half luck/temperament and half parenting choices…well maybe two thirds and one third. Regardless, you must be supporting their good choices well!

    • I’m happy to take even a tiny bit of the credit! 🙂

  3. My girls are two years apart and are also the absolute best of friends and hardly ever experience any conflict. I absolutely LOVE that. I have 4 siblings but there is a big age gap and so I never had that kind of experience growing up. It’s always made me feel better knowing that my girls have each other, and hopefully they’ll remain close always.

    • My inspiration was my old boss. He & his wife have four boys, spaced neatly two years apart. They are all adults now, and remain close despite living in various places around the world. I always thought the relationship those guys had with each other was really cool – and the fact that it continues now that they have all got their own lives gives me a lot of hope for the future.

  4. Brent Spiner is a totally underrated actor! I love Datalore. ST:TNG was the best. We watch it from time to time, still – and we have it on DVD. Oh yes. We love it *that* much!

    Your boys are very sweet little people. I love that they look out for each other. It is a beautiful thing, indeed.

    The Things are also the best of friends. It is a blessing!

    • They were SO fascinated by Brent Spiner playing two roles. They also loved it when Picard snapped “shut up, Wesley!” and have been cheerfully saying it to one another for days now. KIDS.

      • Have they seen this?!? 😀

        We need a play date soon!

        I love our geeky kids!

        • Oh yes, and they LOVED it.

          We should get them together, for sure!

          • So funny! Poor WW. He was just a cute kid.

            Have you read “Just a Geek” or “Dancing Barefoot”?

            I am so happy that he grew up well.. and went on to find a happy place in the public eye. TableTop FTW! 😀

            Maybe if we get some nice fluffy snow we can take the kiddos out to play in it? We can gather a Big and Little, too! 😉

  5. I’d love to know your secret. I hope my two won’t be too far apart in age and gender to be friends as well a family.

    • If I could tell you exactly what happened and how to replicate it, I’d write a book and make a million dollars. 😀

      I think the trick honestly is not to force it. Let Owl be as helpful & involved with the new baby as he wants to be, but don’t make it a demand. Explain that the baby will really not be much fun when she first arrives. When the baby *is* old enough to notice things, teach him how to play with her safely (gentle tickles, the ‘stinky feet’ game, peek a boo). You will almost certainly see that she is entranced with him, and he will be very flattered by the attention. That will at least set the foundation for them being good buddies later on.

      • Good! that is our plan

  6. I am an only child so my kids’ sibling relationship is alternately a source of despair and wonder for me.

    Husband assures me casual bickering is totally normal, which is good because having had no siblings I find bickering stresses me out.

    The thing I didn’t expect and couldn’t know was how much I was going to love them loving and even liking each other. They are 6.5 years apart so this was far from a sure thing, but Oldest has shown himself to (mainly) be a kind and caring older brother and Youngest thinks the sun rises and sets on him and loves him unconditionally (and has learned to fake fart, load and fire Nerf guns, and an appreciation for Phinneas and Ferb, sigh). I hope like heck they stay close as they grow up. If for no other reason than they have someone to call and complain about mom and dad with 😉

    • Casual bickering is 100% normal. It’s inevitable. Think about it – do you and your husband bicker sometimes? It’s a not-dissimilar relationship with siblings.

  7. What a great post … From Star Trek to brotherly love. It’s so sweet that yours are best friends. I don’t know if it’s because my two are boy & girl, or their personalities, or the stage they’re in (they have played nicely in the past) but right now we have 2 modes: 1) they ignore each other and it’s peaceful; 2) 8yo desperately wants to tell 12 yo something, usually something boring about a video game, and she snarls, “I don’t CARE!” like he just killed her puppy. Sigh. Maybe they’ll like each other more in a few years. My brother and I got along best when I was in high school & college.

    • I suspect that’s an age AND gender thing. I remember being a 12 year old girl and nothing was more beneath my notice than younger boys. If it gives you any hope, my brother is eight years younger and while we had our ups & downs – he wrecked SO MUCH OF MY STUFF, OMG – we’re super-close now and hang out all the time.

  8. I was considering doing this with my oldest too – watching old TNG episodes, because I also loved it and thought he would too – but we ran into a hitch with episode number two, which is the one where everyone is infected with some sort of sex bug and Data proves he’s “fully functional” with Tasha Yar. I am thinking of skipping this one and moving on – or maybe even just moving on to Season Two. What did you think – oddly uncomfortable, or over their heads so it didn’t matter?

    • Sailed right over their heads – the only uncomfortable one was me. :p

      For the record, some of the ones I’m thinking about skipping are 1) the one where Worf and K’Ehleyr consummate their relationship (regular sex would be out, so violent bloody Klingon sex is REALLY not getting a viewing until they’re older); 2) the two-parter where Picard is tortured by the Cardassians, because I think it’s just too intense and sad for young kids; 3) the one where Beverly Crusher is pursued by that Scottish ghost that comes out of her grandmother’s candle, because it’s mostly about sex, and also because it is in my opinion the single worst Trek episode ever filmed.

      Everything else they’ve watched, including the away team’s visit to that weird planet where everyone looks like Barbie & Ken and they are very free with their bodies, and they didn’t bat an eyelash, nor were there any concerns or upsets.

      • Yeah save the torture one for when they are older and learning about foreign relations and THEN show them and BLOW THEIR MINDS. best acting ever.

      • Also the locutus one? Personally ordering the deaths of half the fleet kind of traumatic.

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