String Bean has always been a sneaky one, able to get out of bed during nap time, open her door, scale the child-gate across her door, and get into all sorts of trouble upstairs, without making a sound to alert us. But lately, Peanut has been discovering her sneaky side, too. She’s realized that when she’s home with me and String Bean is at school, she can go through all of String Bean’s beloved possessions without fear of repercussions, as long as she remembers where everything belongs.
The other day I was putting laundry away, and I found Peanut in String Bean’s room, and while I wasn’t going to scold her for playing with the princess dolls she’s forbidden from touching, the first thing she said was “I’ll put it all back before we go get her!” She was very proud of herself. I figured it’s a good life skill, respecting her sister’s possessions enough to leave them exactly as she found them, and even good that she doesn’t take her big sister’s endless rules too seriously.
Then yesterday, Peanut told me that a boy at school had thrown rocks at her, been caught by the teacher, had gotten in trouble, and that later she’d thrown rocks at him. When I told her I didn’t think that was very nice, she said: “But the teacher didn’t see me do it!” So maybe she’s taking the wrong lesson away here, that it’s okay to break rules as long as you don’t get caught. So I gave her a mini-lecture on it being important to obey rules even when no one’s watching you. She said she understood, and promised no more rock-throwing, but that didn’t stop her from heading straight to String Bean’s room the next time she was home alone with me.
The funny thing is, when String Bean got home that day, she marched right up to her room and said she needed to put everything back where it belongs, because Peanut always puts her stuff in the wrong place. So, big sister sneaky-pants herself knew, all along, that Peanut was in there messing around whenever she had the chance. And she’s never scolded Peanut once for it. So, I’ve learned two new things this week. That Peanut is just as sneaky as her big sister, and that String Bean isn’t quite as intolerant of her little sister as I’d thought.