What is more baby brother than a shy knock on my bedroom door? What is more baby brother than his body flopping onto my bed, keeping his feet in the air so that they don’t touch the pillows.
I remember the summer we changed our names and begged dad for guinea pigs. The summer I started wearing mascara and curling my hair with a flat iron from the Salvation Army.
What is more baby brother than summertime at dad’s house? Watching movies on our stomachs. Stealing soft baked cookies from the pantry.
What is more baby brother than letting me straighten his hair and play dress up. I remember the night in July when I took pictures of his hair.
“Make it look like I’ve just been electrocuted, ” he said.
Am I mother or sister when he asks me to pour flour into the measuring cup he is holding over the sink? When I show him how the eggshell itself is a perfect spoon?
When he smears chocolate on my arm, when he flattens dough on my foot? When I watch the teaspoons rattle like a wind-chime in his pale boy hands?
When he doesn’t know how long butter can remain uncovered? When I chop the chocolate bar for him? When he can’t remember where to store the baking soda?
What is more baby brother than dirty clothes in the hallway?
What is more baby brother than having a headphone shoved into your ear and grabbing you to dance?