My older brother and I were put to work early in our house. We weren't required to keep a neat room, but it had to be clean. And we didn't have to do our own laundry, but we were expected to fold it and take it to our rooms. So you couldn't really say that we helped out around the house, but we had certain responsibilities as I can remember. And one responsibility that my father was thrilled to pass on to us was mowing the yard. I think my fundamental hatred of mowing must have been passed down through my bloodline. Because I despise mowing. And my older brother is the same way. And only someone who hates it as much as I do would pass it on to his sons so early in life.
Well we took turns mowing after we hit about 12 years old. And I'm pretty sure we'd be mowing from age 2 if my dad could find a mower low enough for us to push. And we whined and complained about the mowing at every turn (almost literally). Texas summers can get a little hot and we weren't exactly thin children. So what we did was try to make it fun. My way of doing this was to gather up as many pine cones and sticks as I could and line them up in a row. Then I'd run over them and listen as the lawnmower demolished them into tiny bits. I did this every time I mowed until the day one of the larger sticks (most people call them branches) threw a large chunk at my uncovered (and untanned) shin. That was the last time I purposefully ran over anything with the mower.
My older brother had a different strategy for making mowing fun. He tried to see how loud he could yell until he could hear it over the noise of the mower. So he would send out a scream every few seconds until he realized he was louder than the mower. This was fun for him. But what he didn't realize is that his screams were not drowned out by the mower if you were more than three feet away.
So one Saturday afternoon, I was inside the house playing Diddy Kong Racing on Nintendo 64 (or maybe GoldenEye or Perfect Dark… I can't remember exactly). And I heard a lawnmower accompanied by the screams of a 12-year old. And my parents heard it too. So while I assumed my brother was being an idiot, they assumed my brother was being eaten and/or dragged by a possessed lawnmower. So they ran outside simultaneously to see what was wrong. And I think that was the day they would have picked a physically-injured, mentally-capable child over a physically-capable, mentally-weird child. And I assume that's also the day I became their favorite son.