It sometimes seems to me that my family is like a microcosm of the school playground. I often notice the playground dynamics at play within our family (changing alliances, loyalties, betrayal,competitiveness, bullying etc).
It is however the issue of teasing that has been driving me nuts recently. Teasing happens according to the family pecking order. Shakeel(12) teases Tharaa (9), who in turn teases Nuhaa(6), who then proceeds to tease the crap out of Aisha (23 months).
Last week Nuhaa came home bursting with excitement. "Mommy, I'm so happy!" she gushed. "We're going on our first excursion. Who can guess where to?" she asked Shakeel and Tharaa. Without waiting for them to answer, she burst out enthusiastically, "We're going to the planetwarium!!!"
Uh oh. I noticed the expressions of cruel delight on the faces of the older two. "You're going where?" asked Shakeel waiting eagerly for her to repeat her blunder. Sensing that she was being set up, she bravely tried to rescue herself from being the butt of a joke, and ventured another guess. "We're going to the planequarium". Poor thing. Their howls of laughter continued until Shakeel noticed how much fun Tharaa was having at his little sister's expense, which then
caused his protective instinct to kick in.
"What are you laughing at?" he redirected his attack. "Do you remember when Mommy and Daddy were talking about us all moving to Dubai- you cried that you did not want to move to another planet. You said that you were afraid to travel on a rocket!"
I called him aside and reminded him about an embarrassing boo-boo he had made about a year ago. He had been playing a wrestling game on his Playstation and was
really enjoying kicking his opponent's butt, when my husband joined him. "Wow, you're doing well," his dad said. "What is the name you chose for your player?"
Shakeel replied, " Daddy, the awesome thing is I didn't even have to choose a name for him- he already had a cool name- it's Default".
Thankfully Shakeel was humbled into stopping his incessant teasing- let's see how long this respite lasts.