This morning, Sweet Girl had an apple for breakfast and while munching on that apple she sat on the couch with me and watched the Today Show with me… and she was just so happy. Since she didn’t have to get up as the asscrack of dawn (aka 6:30) for extended school year bus, she got up at 7:30 with me. Gracie had me all to herself and she took advantage of it, snuggled up next to me on the couch.
She talked my ear off. Yes, yes she did. Because there was no one except Daisy the cat to listen in and interrupt and tell her she was wrong, stupid, to stop talking, to interject with something or other behaving jealously…
She just had Mommy all to herself.
She talked mostly about getting her own android so that she can show me all of the talking she won’t do on it and all of the apps and texting she will do on it.
She wants my phone when I turn it in for an upgrade.
I had to explain that when I turn it in for an upgrade, it will be considered an Old Lady phone and so decrepit it will be useless. I wait until my phones are useless, with the exception of my last phone when I gave it to my eldest so she could have one when she started middle school.
She tried her darnedest to convince me to get her a cell phone and why she deserves one over her little sister. You’ll note by the length of the rest of our conversation that it’s about much, much more than the cell phone. It’s about sisterly relationships. She must have been ruminating on this for quite some time and trying to figure out how to introduce her problem with her little sister in a way that Mommy would finally Get It.
“But you will give me your phone.”
“No, honey, we talked about this. A lot. My phone will be broken when I upgrade.”
“I am old enough. Anna is not old enough. I am starting 6th grade. Anna is not responsible.”
“I already let you use my phone when you want to at home. What happens during the school day with cell phones?”
“Electronics are NOT ALLOWED. I would get in trouble if I use electronics. I would use a Chromebook. I do not want to get in trouble. Chromebooks are for school.”
“Yes, because it is against the rules to use your electronics in class. The teacher will TAKE IT” quick swipe of her arms through the air “AWAY!!!”
“I think you’re right.”
“I know. Do I get your phone when you get a new one?” with a squeal.
“Not yet. It won’t happen for a while.”
She paused here, and her face darkened.
“What’s wrong, Sweet Girl?”
“Anna thinks she is the boss of me. She thinks she can tell me what to do. She thinks she knows everything.”
“Like what? Tell me.”
“She is always saying I will get hurt and, um, she yells and it hurts my ears.”
“Do you get hurt if you don’t listen to her?”
“Do you want to know a secret about Anna?”
PENSIVE FACE WITH FURROWED BROW… she’s preparing to hear something she doesn’t like.
“Your little sister loves you with her whole heart. She loves you more than anyone else in the world. That means that if she thinks you’re not safe she’s going to try to protect you.”
“And do you want to know why it seems like she thinks she knows more than you?”
“Hmm.” glances at me
“It’s because she remembers some things better than you do sometimes; she remembers how things work a little bit better or that doing something a certain way might get you hurt. She doesn’t want that to happen. Right?”
“Hmm.” scowls but nods
“What she wants is to take care of you. She enjoys that. She likes to know that you’re safe and happy. She doesn’t think you’re a little baby or a little kid that she has to take care of. She just wants to make sure that her big sister doesn’t get hurt and that she’s happy. Does that make sense?”
“She doesn’t like to fight with you. She hates to fight with you. It hurts her feelings when you fight.”
“She thinks she is more grown up. She is not more responsible, I am more responsible. I am older. I am going in a middle school.”
“You are definitely learning to be responsible. You’ve been helping around the house a lot more lately. You help me when we go shopping together. You did a great job with the grocery list yesterday.”
“Yes, I did.”
“I think you’re both learning and growing up, and I think your little sister is trying to help you grow up so that you can do it together.”
“She is bossy. She tells me what to do.”
“Well, do you think that maybe sometimes you tell her what to do too?”
“I think that she’s trying to show you how to do things safely, and you know how she likes things to be ‘just right’ but you know what else? She also wants to do things WITH you so that you’re not alone.”
“And you know, she just thinks about things in a different way than you do. Your little sister’s brain works a little differently than your does so she doesn’t always understand what you’re thinking.”
“It might sound bossy if she thinks that she has to talk more loudly so that you’ll pay attention. Do you understand?”
“Hmm.” BIG PAUSE “Juliana is bossy.”
“Well… um… but she’s your big sister and you’re supposed to think she’s bossy. She’s a leader too. And not for nothing, honey, but when Mommy and Daddy aren’t here, she’s the boss.”
“Mom, did you hide your Kindle?”
“No honey, it’s plugged in. Did you want to read today?”
“I don’t know.”
Oh my gosh, I love this girl. Dear God, I love my daughters. Love, love, love.