"NO! That's mine! No, Lad! Don't touch the tunnel! That's mi-i-i-i-ine!"
"Boy," I said sternly. "You have to share. You -"
"But he's messing my train track!"
"Boy, you share at school, don't you? You can share with your brother."
"Ah! No, Lad! That's mine!"
At that point, I had to hide my giggles behind a book. Why is it that a sibling can irritate and infuriate like no other person in your life? I saved my breath and didn't bother to lecture further. The Boy had been reprimanded, The Lad didn't need defending -- he happily grabbed whatever he could reach, oblivious to The Boy's whining -- and nothing I said was going to change The Boy's feeling of OMG-my-annoying-little-brother-is-touching-my-stuff!
My parents used to tell us to fight nice. We weren't allowed to tattle unless someone was bleeding, and even then, were more likely to get a "Well, did you deserve it?" than sympathy. Having spent a pleasant half an hour reading my book while the kiddos