Monday, April 07, 2008

Mark Madness

For twenty days each spring, 65 college basketball teams meet on courts across the nation, determined to dominate their opponents and declare themselves the champion. This is called March Madness. However, 365 days of the year, the same cutthroat level of competition is played out all over our house. Unlike the NCAA Tournament, you won't find team players: No, in the Mark household it's every man for himself. We call this "Mark Madness.

While some sibling rivalry goes on in most families, our seven-year-old twin boys make face-offs like Duke vs. Carolina look like child's play. Each one thinks that he has the home court advantage, and is out to beat his brother at just about everything. For my two little point guards, it's not the game it is simply about keeping score.

I think that their first tip-off happened at conception, and they've been squaring-up ever since. I was the first twin, you know I heard Jasper say trying to shoot down his identical womb-mate, Your cells split off from me. Oh yeah, Jared blocked, well, I was born first. So what? guarded Jasper, I was bigger. But I'll always be older Jared said, making a fast break.

You can be sure when theres a home game, there will be plenty of personal fouls. When they've taken more than their fair share of free shots at each other, they'll find themselves with timeouts on the sidelines for unsportsmanlike conduct. It is here where they explore the advantages of teamwork.

Just last week they came off the bench with some impressive double-teaming, as they tried to get out of trouble for double dribbling chocolate milk across our kitchen hardwoods.

These two can turn anything into a tournament. My fever is higher then yours. Dude, I've got a fever AND a rash! Whatever. I got three stitches in my forehead. That's nothin', I had four stitches in my chin! My splinter is deeper then yours! Big deal, I can run faster then you, Who cares? I can run farther then you. Yeah, well I can catch a baseball better then you? Big Whoop - that's only because I can throw one better then you.

And one of my all time favorite shots: I totally beat you in Monopoly last night one bragged. Well, I lost by more then you won, so I was actually the winner (Huh? Talk about a rebound!)

Occasionally I've been known to set up a self-serving scrimmage or two of my own. Putting on my best game face, I'll goad, You're not gonna let your brother eat more broccoli than you, are you? I'll challenge, Who can make their bed faster? or Who can rake up more leaves? You'd think that they would have caught on to some of these plays from my game book by now.

But as the final buzzer sounds at the end of each day, I tuck my little MVPs into bed. After a night of hoop dreams, they'll wake up ready to get back in the game. Once again I'll be their coach, their referee and the their head cheerleader and they'll always be my champions. Mark Madness indeed Bring it on!