“Mooommmmm! Bubba is egging me!”, my four-year-old daughter yelled from the basement.
Translated: “Mom! My brother is trying to instigate me to do something that will get me in trouble, or in other words, he’s egging me on!”
Yes, it’s true. Our two older children are separated by a four year age gap and our eight-year-old son likes to plant ideas in his little sister’s head that may lead to mild trouble. I have explained to the kids that this is called, “egging someone on,” and that they should not delight in giving another an idea that will get them in trouble.
I should know. I’m an expert egger.
My brother and I also have a four year gap in our ages. Naturally, I am the older and more mature and wise sibling. Therefore, I’ve had much practice at the art of egging on my younger brother. I pride myself in the fact that I have a pretty good imagination and I’m able to dream up some clever ideas. Mind you, I am a major rule follower and people-pleaser. I do not like to get in trouble. However, if I could talk my little brother into doing something mischievous then it was a win/win. For me, at least.
As we’ve become adults, my brother has repeatedly clued the rest of the family in on the fact that many things that he got in trouble for were, in fact, my idea. Big mouth! But, I do admit it’s true. I was a fairly talented instigator. I had a good run.
Now I am seeing this same scenario play out with my two older children. The genders are reversed, but it is once again the oldest child who is leading the younger sibling into mischief. All I have to do is look at my son’s face and I can easily recognize that he is in “egging mode.” I know that I must nip this behavior in the bud so that my daughter can learn to get into trouble on her own, but I feel like a traitor to all sibling instigators.
It’s really been a quandary, but I’ve continued to scold my son for leading his little sister astray. I know, I’ve defected.
Just call me Eggs Benedict Arnold.