One of my favorite childhood memories consists of grabbing my younger sister by the forearm, holding her hand up at a ninety-degree angle, and slapping said hand across her own face, back and forth, back and forth. This sisterly gesture was always accompanied by my familiar chant of “Why ya hittin’ yourself, why ya hittin’ yourself?” over-and-over-and-over, in a kinda-but-not-really funny way. (Funny to the slapper. The slappee, not so much.)
In my defense, my little sis used this tactic on me as well, and she laughed herself silly when it was my turn to be the slappee. We just loved beating each other up. And I’m not using this expression vaguely, as in “beating up each other’s spirits” or “beating up each other’s self-esteem.” No. What I mean is: we really loved beating each other up.
Hitting. Punching. Biting. Threatening with kitchen knives. Kicking the crud out of each other. All administered, of course, against the gloriously unsupervised backdrop of 1980’s parenting. (Did you grow up in the eighties? You know what I mean. Nobody cared what we did back then. It was awesome.)
My sister and I are the best of friends nowadays. I think the deepest familial bonds can only be forged through early and brutal hand-to-hand combat.
Remember that this weekend when you’re ready to kill your kids because they’re trying to kill each other. Blood may be thicker than water, but bloodthirstiness is the thickest of them all.