As anyone with brothers or sisters can attest, it is imperative to surviving childhood that you learn exactly how to push your siblings’ buttons.
My brother The Middle Child (or TMC) figured out pretty early on that taking the attention away from me was a major button pusher:
During extended car trips, knowledge of your siblings’ pet peeves becomes even more important. When we were kids, my brother and I spent countless hours harassing each other in minivans on road trips. For years, TMC was a veritable car-trip Fort Knox – he could absorb all my kicks and punches and verbal assaults with little more than a vicious giggle in response, which was his most annoying trick of all. For the first seven years of his life, before the birth of my youngest brother, The Middle Child was The Baby and he and his little blonde head got away with everything. Oh, how I longed to find his Achilles Heel.
Eventually, when I was ten and he was eight, after traveling to the Grand Canyon and Utah and Idaho and San Francisco and Sacramento and New Mexico with our parents several times over, I finally hit pay dirt while singing along to The Beatles on a long and winding road through the mountains near Mammoth. After one particularly impassioned chorus performance, I turned toward him and discovered The Middle Child close to rage tears. I had discovered his ultimate weakness: he hates lip syncing. Hates it. As it turns out, it doesn’t even have to be singing. Just mouthing famous dialogue along with the characters in movies has the same effect – namely, it renders him useless.
I proceeded to employ this tactic whenever he got under my skin, which was a lot. Victory is sweet.
Interestingly, I recently found out that my husband also really despises lip-syncing, which is upsetting because I think it’s hilarious. Especially when there exists in the world a song so perfect for it:
There is no way I’m not pretending to sing this every time I hear it for the rest of my life. I mean, come on.