Sunday 24 September 2017

'The little things grate he can be annoying when he goes on endlessly about his playstation'

Rita de Brun

Anne-marie and Pat Carton live in Mullingar with their children Megan (15), Leanne (14) and Luke (nine).

Megan: "Leanne and I get on better now than we did when we were younger, and while there is still a little rivalry between us, it's the healthy sort.

"We both auditioned to get into the performing class at the Gaiety School of Acting. I got in and Leanne didn't. She was disappointed and I felt pretty bad about that.

"We did a musical theatre class in Belfast one time. There were three levels. I got into the highest one and Leanne got into the middle one. Because we were separated, I really missed her.

"We fight over the TV. Mum democratically ensures we both get to see a bit of what we want.

"Luke is completely different to me because he's a boy and he's only nine. We fight about his PlayStation. If he's cheeky to me, I tell him to cop on, in a big sisterly way."

Leanne: "Megan and I got on better when we were younger. Back then, we'd agree most of the time, but now she's cleverer, so she disagrees with me more.

"I'm quite sensitive. When we both go for the same audition and she makes it and I don't, that's hard for me. Because we're sisters, I'd love if we could both get through. But I'm still always glad for her when she does.

"The little things grate. Megan comes into my room in the morning, asking what way she should wear her hair, and taking my things.

"She sings and plays piano when we're doing homework, and won't stop when I ask her.

"Luke can be annoying when he goes on endlessly about his PlayStation and trading cards. After a few hours of listening to him talk about Chelsea, I tell him I really don't care about the subject.

"Besides all that, though, the three of us really do get on ."

Luke: "I never heard of sibling rivalry before today, but if it means competing against one another, then it doesn't happen in our house, but we do annoy each other the way all kids do.

"Mostly we fight over what to watch on TV. I usually win those battles as I run up to the remote control and jump on it so nobody can take it from me.

"I also beat my sisters at thumb wars. The fact that my thumbs are double-jointed helps, I guess.

"I can't think of a single thing that they can beat me at.

"I think we will get on better when we grow up. I'll probably have stopped annoying them a teensie bit by then -- and I'll be bigger than them too!"

Anne-Marie: "Leanne and Megan are very close in age, and even though they're like chalk and cheese in looks and personality, they're very much part of each other and share lots of interests.

"They will probably say that they fight a lot but really they don't and whenever they do, it's just about silly things. Most of their time is spent giggling and having fun together. They're always rooting for each other and they cheer each other on in all they do.

"Luke and Megan are more extrovert than Leanne. As the middle child, she's quieter and more sensible. Megan misses her sister when they get separated. Leanne copes better with separation.

But they are not rivals. When Luke was born the girls were four and five and they absolutely adored him and still do. Being a boy, Luke pushes their buttons.

"They're a close-knit bunch, Pat and I are confident that throughout their lives, they'll always look out for each other."

Irish Independent

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