Sunday, October 25, 2009

All-Powerful Big Sisters

The other morning, after a rough night’s sleep, I heard the girls moving around in their rooms fairly early. I wanted to sleep in, say, until 7am, before dealing with them, so I left them alone, knowing that String Bean would get herself up, pull down the gate on Peanut’s door (a no-longer-successful means of keeping her from waking her little sister in the morning), and convince Peanut to climb out of her crib, and that then they’d head downstairs together, where String Bean, expert in all things childproof, would open the childproof gate at the bottom of the steps that really has just become a way of keeping the dog downstairs all night.

One good thing about monitoring kids out of view (but not about trying to snooze once they’re awake) is that kids, particularly mine, are very loud first thing in the morning. As I lay in bed, pretending I had a chance of getting a tiny bit more rest before dealing with the morning routine, I could track their movement downstairs by the volume of their squeals. Louder meant they were in the living room at the bottom of the stairs, quieter meant they’d moved down to the family room, where all of their toys are kept.

Ten minutes later, I heard the girlish voices getting louder, then my door was thrown open and both girls rushed to my bedside, talking at the same time, saying something terribly urgent about milk. From what I could gather from their muddled rantings, Peanut wanted her morning milk (really, milk with a little Carnation Instant Breakfast mixed in), and wanted String Bean to make it for her. Apparently, Peanut had decided that her big sister could handle this job just fine, but, thankfully, String Bean disagreed. Peanut was still going on about wanting String Bean to make her milk, and String Bean was giving me a lengthy explanation that while she knows where the sippy cups are, and can put the “chocolate powder” into the cups, she’s not sure how much to put, or how to pour the heavy gallon jug of milk without spilling any. So, she thought the best thing to do was come get me, and Peanut wanted me to agree with her that it wasn’t necessary to get me involved.

Even though I was tired and cranky, it was a pretty amusing way to wake up. It was adorable to see Peanut’s confidence in her 4-year-old sister’s abilities, and to see String Bean growing up enough to care about things like making a disastrous mess by trying to pour a jug of milk that weighs almost as much as she does. So I hauled myself out of bed, laughing as the girls continued making their cases for/against four-year-olds making their sister’s chocolate milk in the morning, and headed downstairs.

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