Now, I always thought Tom and Jerry were enemies. When Tom strapped little Jerry to a model train track and put his engineer hat on, I thought that he really wanted to kill the mouse. Instead of laughing when I watched this show as a kid, I felt sorry for Jerry. So I never really understood the allure of "The Tom & Jerry Show."
But I can see why Johnny, 5, and Richie, 3, would relate to it. They spend most the day trying to annoy each other.
Yesterday, they were fighting.
"Give it to me. It's mine. Miiiiiiine," Richie screamed.
"I found it," Johnny said.
"No, I found it," Richie said. "At the pool."
"I mean I found it just now," Johnny said. "On the couch."
Richie dove on Johnny, as he yelled, "I NEVER get to play with it."
What was it? A brown hair rubberband.
Even sweet baby J.J. gets in on the sibling rivalry. Whenever I hold Richie or Johnny, J.J. crawls over and he pushes the big boys off of my lap.
He seems to say, "Why are these boys always at our house?"
"J.J.," I tell him. "They live here. These are your brothers."
"That's impossible," he seems to say. "I'm an only child."
"No, I'm their mommy, too," I say.
"I'll never believe it for as long as I live," he says.
But he believes it. When I drop them off at a friend's house, J.J. yells from his carseat, "Huh!" as if asking, "Where'd those big brothers go?"
After a couple hours, he's ready for them to come home and tell him some jokes, like the one about the paddycake and the baker man. Talk about hilarious.
Likewise, when Johnny went to Chicago, Richie cried at night for him.
"Will he be home tomorrow?" He'd ask. "Why? Whyyyyyyyyy?"
Even during the day, they ask me where the other one is.
"Why?" I wonder. "So you can wrestle him to the ground and take his toy?"
Finally, the other day, I sat down to watch "Tom & Jerry" for a few minutes.
Jerry wakes up in his nightcap and yawns. Then he marchess immediately over to Tom, who's looking out the window, and kicks him in the booty.
Naturally, Johnny and Richie howl at this.
In this episode, Tom is in love, so he doesn't even notice Jerry, as he does progressively worse things to the cat. Tom's too busy watching the glamorous feline.
Well, that's the end of that problem, I thought. Now the cat and mouse can leave each other alone and live happily ever after. Alas, the female cat runs off with a smooth talking alley cat.
In the end, Tom and Jerry walk off arm in arm and say something like, "Let's never let a dame interfere with our friendship again."
What? I thought. Those guys are friends? What a couple of clowns!
Now I know why Johnny and Richie love this show so much. Tom and Jerry love each other so much that they don't let anything come between them: not even themselves. They must be brothers.