"Mom likes me better," Jake said for what must have been the third time today. I finally took the bait.
"What makes you say that?"
"She just does. Always has," he said rather smugly. It's what I've come to expect from my younger brother. I was born five minutes before him. We are twins.
"Oh yeah, where'd you get that idea, Mr. Smartypants? I'd say she likes us just the same."
"Well, think what you want, if it makes you feel any better," Jake responded. "But, obviously, I've always been her favorite. Remember the time we went to that amusement park on the lake? The one where I got to ride with mom on all the rides, while you and dad just walked around the whole day?"
"Uh, Jake, that was the summer I had my broken arm. I couldn't ride anything, but dad and I had fun anyway. I hardly think that proves mom likes you better."
"Well, what about all those favorite meals I got, especially on our birthday?" Jake asked. "I got to pick what we had, you didn't. How 'bout them apples?"
"That just proves you're a crybaby."
"What's that supposed to mean, oh big brother of mine?" he replied somewhat sarcastically.
"I always gave in just so you would shut up. Did you know that I always told mom to make whatever you liked, just so you wouldn't complain? I knew you were such a picky eater that you would carry on until you got your way anyway. Since I like just about anything, mom and I worked out a deal to let you pick our birthday meal. So, we're back to square one - mom doesn't like you better."
"You think you're so smart, don't you," Jake said in that tone he gets when he can't think of anything witty to say. "I'll prove she likes me better. We'll just ask her."
Well, this ought to be good, I thought to myself. "Okay, why don't you ask her in here?"
"Ma," Jake called out toward the kitchen in that nasal voice he sometimes uses when he tries to turn on the charm. "Can you come here a minute?"
"Now boys," she yelled back. "If this is about that 'Who's the favorite' nonsense again, you can just stop it now. Like I've told you before, neither of you are. I love you both."
This is where she always gave that little pause before adding with a smile in her voice: "Besides, you know that your sister was always my favorite."
"Now git," mom added. "Our visit's over. It's time for you both to pick up your grandkids from school."
As we grabbed our coats and said good-bye to our 89-year old mother, I couldn't resist as we walked out the door. "I told you you weren't mom's favorite," I said. "But if you'd like, I'd be glad to tell you why I was dad's favorite."
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