they could have just asked a mom, part two

This week, a thunderous news flash from

Older Brothers Fuel Aggression in Siblings.

Yes, “children who have older brothers tend to be more aggressive than children with older sisters.” Shocked? Wait until you hear this:

Older siblings who were aggressive tended to have younger siblings who were also aggressive.

Scientists at UC Davis looked at 451 pairs of siblings to figure this out. Again, I ask: couldn’t they have spent that time, that money, that modern science know-how, curing cancer? Or figuring out where the missing socks in the dryer go?

I couldn’t even write this blog post without stopping three times to separate my fresh-from-preschool gladiators. And the aggressor was… wait for it… the older one. He is now sitting calmly (albeit on his brother’s bed, which probably counts as a passive-aggressive act) leafing through one of his Ranger Rick magazines, while I ply the younger one with plums and animal crackers in the kitchen. Actually, scratch that- each of them have come in separately during this very sentence to lure me away from the computer. “Why aren’t you reading me a story?” the older one demands. “I want to be on your lap,” my younger lad pleads, which is ludicrous, considering I am 39 weeks pregnant. I have now shooed them out of the office and have about 30 seconds to type before one of them draws blood.

This study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Mental Health. I can only assume there’s not a mom in the funds-apportionment bunch. Or at least, not one whose oldest child is a boy.