Surviving Big Sisters

My husband claims girls are sneakier and more devious than boys. I’d like to
argue but somehow making a case that the door chime being turned off had
nothing to do with our sixteen-year-old daughter arriving home an hour past
curfew, fell apart somewhere between my brain and my mouth. And to be honest,
I think some girls start showing “sneaky” signs very early in life. Like me.

I was three when I fell off the only child perch. My mom claims my little brother
followed me around the house, and I figure that must’ve been really annoying,
because one day he crawled into my bedroom, and according to my mom, I shut
and locked the door.

I decided to play house, me being the mom and he the bratty child who deserved
to be spanked. My brother and I laugh about the story now. Well, I laugh; he just
shakes his head and mutters something about my diabolical and wicked nature.
My oldest granddaughter, the family litigator, holds the record of sitting on the
only child perch for five years before being dumped off when her little sister was
born. But even more shocking for the litigator than being tossed off her only
princess throne was the arrival, ten months later, of a baby brother.

By the time our Irish twins reached toddler age, the litigator jumped at any
opportunity to visit our house without her siblings and revel once again in the
only-child-world.

On one such weekend, she sidled up to me on the couch. “Nana, I want to come
live with you and Papa and be your little girl.”

My heart filled with self-righteous pride, but I bit my tongue and said, “As much
as Papa and I would love that, your mom and dad would be so sad.”

“Nah,” she said. “They have the babies now, they don’t like me anymore.”
I understood mourning for the days of being the star of everyone’s show.
Being a princess is addicting.

So later that month, when her mom laughing announced the litigator had talked
her little sister into drinking her pee-pee while taking a bath, I wasn’t surprised
the dethroned princess got even.

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