Whine: I went from a deep, dreamy sleep to being jolted wide awake in an instant this morning. I’d forgotten all about the joys of pregnancy charlie horses. I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to move my leg, as it had decided to freeze itself mid-spasm, right at the peak of the pain.
Cheese: Thankfully, Mr. Dad wakes up a lot less crabby and a lot more coherent than I do and showed that charlie horse who’s boss.
In the weeks and days before the arrival of Lil’ Sis, there was much anticipation. Big Sis was excited to meet her new little sister. Excitement turned to awe when she met that squirmy little red-haired baby. But the awe quickly faded to disinterest when she realized that babies don’t do anything. I distinctly remember the disappointment in her voice one day when she said, “(Audible sigh) She’s asleep, again??”
But the disinterest turned into irritation the minute Lil’ Sis got mobile. Her only objective, it seemed, was to be in Big Sis’ space and destroy whatever it was she was building. I spent the better part of a year encouraging one sister to acknowledge the other’s existence and schooling the other on the concept of personal space.
And then one day, it happened.
I looked over from my perch on the couch to see them playing. In the same vicinity. Almost together. I held my breath, afraid that any sudden movement on my part would break the spell and I would be back to officiating another round of NO! That’s My Most Valued Piece of Carpet Fuzz and You Can’t Have It!
As the days and weeks passed, I noticed more and more of this erratic, illogical behavior. Instead of 100% fighting, 0% cooperation, they had moved on to 99.9% fighting and 0.1% cooperation. I was ecstatic.
You can imagine my shock this morning to walk into the bathroom and see two kids with no pants on. At first I was truly alarmed. But once my heart rate slowed, I realized that Big Sis had not only used the bathroom herself, but had assisted Lil’ Sis in removing her Pull-Up and using the potty chair. AND THEN she was emptying the potty chair and rinsing it out without making a mess. Talk about heart failure.
In that moment, I saw family. Big Sis doing what big sisters are made to do and lending her Lil’ Sis a hand. Teaching her the ways of the potty. Being kind and gentle and encouraging without having a glaring mother forcing her to do so.
Just a few minutes later, Big Sis had been banished to timeout for refusing to share her toys and for yelling at her sister. Incidentally, as I was trying to explain to her why she had been disciplined, she turned around on the chair and mooned me. I suppose Big Sis should have been a child of the 70s, using civil disobedience (and nudity) to fight The Man. Well, I am The Man. With difficulty, I suppressed my grin and swatted that bare little bottom. (FGTKY anyone?)
So Big Sis sat in timeout, sulking and pondering the injustice of having to share her toys. And what do you know? Lil’ Sis wandered over and started offering toys. The next thing I know, they were snuggling in the chair together playing and chatting like best buds.
In that moment, I saw grace. Even though Lil’ Sis had just moments earlier been the victim of Big Sis’ maniacal tirade, she has a short memory for that sort of thing. And in the end, she likes her Big Sis so much, she’s willing to put up with some ugly parts to get to the good stuff. Stuff like jumping on the furniture together, making a two-headed ghost out of what is supposed to be fabric for the baby’s quilt, and, most importantly, ganging up on Mommy.
Moments like these give me hope that my girls will grow up and be friends. Not just the kind of friends who share jeans (although noone around here seems to like wearing pants, so that may be a non-issue) and lip gloss, but the kind of friends who hang out on the porch swing and talk, just because they want to. The kind who jump in and lend a hand when their sister needs help. And who have short memories for petty arguments and bring peace offerings to heal the wounds of battle.
Speaking of battles, I’d better go. I think the now one-headed ghost is terrorizing her other half, who is running for her life.