Though he is among my best friends now, I tortured Pandito, physically and mentally for at least the first thirteen years of his life. I taunted him with names and then bribed him not to cry. To be fair to me, he liked to goad me until I snapped. To be fair to him, he was too little to know what goading was.
A lot of my spitefulness came from the fact that my little brother was really, really cute. He looked like some sort of angelic toddler you’d see in a Playskool commercial, playing sweetly with similarly cherubic children. Pandito had rusty blonde ringlets at a time when my mom had already started cutting my bangs herself. He was golden and quiet whereas I have the coloring of Damien from The Omen and could (can?) throw a temper tantrum like one possessed.
One day our nanny, Mary Brown, took us through the bank drive through. As we sat waiting for the transaction to go through, the teller said to Mary “What a cute little girl you have.” As I preened and said “Thank you,” the lady looked slightly embarrassed and said “Oh, not you dear, the other one.”
Poor Pandito paid dearly for that slight to my self esteem (and possibly to his own).
Also, I don’t put a penny of my money with First Citizens Bank to this day.