Monday, November 12, 2007

Middle Sisters (part 2)

Tonight there was another battle for the same territory mentioned in yesterday's post. Kailey was upstairs reading a bedtime story to her two younger sisters - something I asked her to do so I could spend a little bit of time with Bethany. But instead of reading I heard the battle lines being drawn again.

"Noooo! You said nyah nyah nyah nyah NYAH!"

"No I din't, Kailey! Nyah nyah nyah NYAH nyah nyah!"

Bethany and I stopped talking so we could hear what was going on. The nyah nyahs increased in emotion and volume to the point where we could tell there was a property dispute being tried in the self-appointed court of middle sisterdom.

As they bounce back and forth several more times, I caught myself thinking, "Wow, her English is getting really good."

Then I thought, "Wow, they're really sisters!"

Finally, I realized that intervention was needed. I walked upstairs and calmly ordered both girls to bed immediately. Kailey complied without question realizing that it was only five minutes before bedtime anyway. Neti hasn't figured out the time thing yet. She began sobbing uncontrollably.

The dispute was over silly little ball. Mommy had allegedly asked Kailey to put it away twice. She didn't. Neti, feeling like two warnings was enough, decided that Kailey had forfeited ownership of said ball. Now being public property, Neti snatched the ball up in her purse and took it to her room, claiming it as her own, thus firing the first shot of the battle.

I spent ten minutes with each girl lying in bed and talking through what happened. Neti and I talked about ownership rights and eminent domain. Kailey talked responsibility, understanding, and respect.

I ended my conversation with Neti by saying, "It's a little bit hard to be a little sister, isn't it?" Whatever control she had found was lost again in the new reality spoken by her Daddy. Her little body began involuntary trembling as her lungs gasp for air in a series of short bursts. She buried her head in her pillow and let out a long howl.

It's gotta be tough.

We spent the last 5 minutes listing the good things AND the hard things about being a little sister. (She filed getting cool hand-me-down clothes in the positive column.)

She regained control and maybe a touch of identity.

We went to bed.

Things are good.

For tonight.


At 4:57 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

You & Rhonda are doing such a great job with your family! I'm sure it's not always as easy as you make it sound, but hang in there! You're doing great!

At 9:36 AM , Blogger shawn and tisha said...

I read this post a few weeks ago, I have thought of Neti a lot since then and have been praying for her. I am the oldest child in my family and if I would have had to give up that position, I know I would have had a very hard time with it. It's good that you are patient and understanding about her transition.


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