Upchuck Fail


It had been a long time since one of my daughters was ill, but this weekend Olivia’s number was up.

She started complaining that her stomach was hurting on Saturday afternoon. OK, not so much complaining as letting out a loud chain of whines and cries. Sadly, we know Olivia often tends to exaggerate for attention, and we didn’t really take her seriously at first. For which I feel quite guilty, in retrospect. She said she felt like she might be sick. A few minutes later, turns out she was right.

Now, I understand she was sick and out of sorts. And she’s normally a very bright girl. But I really wish that when we told her to run to the toilet, she had grasped that we meant *stand in front of the toilet*, and not *sit on the toilet*. FAIL.

Whatever you’re picturing, it’s probably accurate.

A couple of loads of laundry later (not to mention some mopping and disinfecting), we realized the tone was set for the weekend. Throw in a fever, and now we’re really having fun.

She’s much better now. Finally managed to hold down some chicken broth, and her complexion is definitely a healthier shade of green.

But lesson learned – next time, specify what to do when arriving at the toilet.

Me too, me too!


Lately everything is a competition with our girls. Constantly measuring fairness. Singing an endless chorus of “Me too”.

The girls are play-baking together. Angelina decides to go play something else. Olivia barely notices and keeps playing. When she finally tires of it, she starts walking away.

Play-baking

Play-baking

Me: “Olivia, could you please put the toys away if you’re done?”

Olivia: “Angelina too. She played with it too.”

Me: “Angelina is busy right now, and I’m asking you to do it.”

Olivia: “It’s not fair.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll often get one of them to come help the other (to which that one will reply, “It’s not fair!”), but when one girl monopolized a particular toy, it seems a little too convenient for child 1 to suddenly implicate child 2.

Besides, who said this was a democracy?

So I ask if it’s fair that I’d have to pick everything up, on top of everything else I do. I secretly love the sheepish “No…” response that follows. Plus it has the intended effect of putting a stop to any whining and getting their toys put away.

Then there is the never-ending dress saga. Girls love wearing dresses and getting prettied up. Practically every morning, the same question comes out of both their little mouths: “Can I wear a dress?”

We often let them; but if one of them has an outdoor activity, we opt for something they can more readily monkey around in. The next day, the question becomes: “Can I wear a dress? She wore one yesterday.”
I find it very amusing that somehow, what one wore the previous day has any bearing on what happens to the other the following day. Perhaps I should explain that her sister wearing a dress yesterday actually doesn’t reduce the inventory of dresses in her own closet…

I’ve also recently noticed that both girls have an intriguing physical anomaly. If I stand right in front of them and speak, they don’t notice – those noisy crayons and stickers must be interfering with their hearing. But if one asks me for a gum or candy and I agree, miracle of miracles, the other’s ears suddenly come alive, and I hear a little voice from upstairs yelling, “Me too! I want one too!”, quickly followed by little feet running down the stairs.

Sigh. Will this translate into future competitions about who’s helped with chores most, and who did their homework first?

From the mouths of children


Sisterly Camaraderie

Sisterly Camaraderie

Chris and I are parents to two wonderful creatures. They’re smart, funny, sensitive and beautiful. As with all parents, we have ups and downs with our girls – a breakdown in communications, if you will. Miscommunication between parents and children isn’t a teenage phenomenon. It actually starts in their toddler years.

What I say vs. what they hear:

  1. OK, but just this once = Sure, go ahead. Anytime you want.
  2. Not now, maybe later = Ask me again in about 2.5 seconds. Surely I’ll say yes then.
  3. Share your toys = You should take that toy from your sister, because you shouldn’t have to wait your turn.
  4. Come here right now = Once you’re done whatever you’re doing, if you decide to get to it, and if it’s not too much trouble, come see me.
  5. We’re having pork chops and broccoli tonight = We’re going to force-feed you fecal matter.
  6. Time to put the toys away = It’s the end of the world and we want you to fuss loudly.

Never a dull moment. We fill our girls’ lives with activities that will help shape them into somewhat normal functioning adults. We try to teach our children everything from reading and writing to social graces, but I truly believe we learn as much from them in return.

Things I’ve learned from my kids:

  1. Asking one of my girls what they did wrong will always generate a response about what the other one did wrong.
  2. Even the best-behaved kids will wait until they’re in public before having a meltdown. Hence the phrase “She really isn’t usually like that…” followed by the other person’s usual smile and nod.
  3. However hellish your child can be with you, she will spontaneously become angelic around grandparents. Just to prove you wrong. That’s how they flip you the bird before learning how to.
  4. When my girls tell me they’re too full to finish their meal, they’re actually taking into account how much room they need to leave for dessert.
  5. I can try to teach them things countless times before it sinks in. But I let a four-letter word slip just once, and of course they pick that one up instantly.
  6. Kids notice everything. Like the veggie you tried to purée and sneak into the food. Or the doll you accidentally sat on the left side of the toy chest instead of on the right.
  7. A hand-made cardboard crown can in fact turn a little girl into a princess.
  8. Kids give the best hugs because they mean them with every fibre of their being.

I look forward to many life lessons from them as the years go by. Each one adding grey hair to my formerly all-brown mane.