I am not sure how it all started but I found myself in an argument this morning with little N, the girl who routinely stays out of trouble in the morning, gets herself ready, and out the door ten minutes before her school bus arrives. I rarely get into arguments in the mornings these days (mindfulness practice working pretttty well, I gotta say!), so I decided to indulge myself today – especially because I was certain that I was right. Little N, blessed with an exact replica of her mother’s genes (I am convinced), decided the same.
As we continued arguing, and the clock was a-ticking, I looked around for little A. Getting her ready in the mornings was another story altogether. The same pants that she happily wore the previous day would somehow magically become too loose or too tight overnight, her tummy would hurt with even just a little milk for breakfast, the snowflake tights that she just had to wear that day would be missing – you get the picture. So I looked around for her to start the major production of getting her ready. And was taken aback. Little A was standing there FULLY DRESSED – socks, shoes, and all, breakfast eaten, hair combed, and was finishing up moisturizing her face (which I know she detests!). All the while making pretty puppy eyes at me.
I know this technique. I mean, I invented it. When I was little, I used to specialize in putting on my “good girl shoes” whenever V was in trouble with my parents. I have recently outgrown this, I think. 😉 I particularly remember one time when V and I were both knee-deep in mud, making the expressly forbidden mud vadais (Mmmmm…. such fun!). After a while, I, who was strategically positioned, could see a grown-up approaching in the distance. I stood up quickly, cleaned myself up as best as I could, and was prepared when the grown-up reached us ready to yell (while V, who was blissfully unaware, continued to churn out more vadais). I remember telling the grown-up “You know, I have been asking V for a long time to stop wading in the mud, but she just won’t listen.”. I don’t quite recall how that story ended (not very well for me, I am sure), but I was amused to see little A trying to pull the same strategy on me. I think this is a younger sibling thing too. I don’t recall V ever trying to pull this, and I don’t see little N doing so either. Perhaps older siblings are more comfortable in their shoes, or not so needy about pleasing their parents? Hmmmm… I wonder.
Either way, little N still got herself ready and out the door 10 minutes early. As little A and I walked to her bus stop, I called out across the road to little N wishing her a good day (who was it that said “petha manam pithu”?). She, energized after a quick round of soccer with her friends at the bus stop, waved and gave me a smile – our earlier squabble forgiven (or just forgotten). Little N’s smile made me smile too. All was well with the world.
Meanwhile, I felt a tug at my pants. I looked down to see little A still making puppy eyes at me. She said “Mommy, did I help you out this morning by getting ready so nicely? You know, these pants are just purrrrrfect. I want to wear them everyday. I looooovvvvve Mommy.”
Smiling down at little A and thinking back to my own experiences with “one-upping the sibling”, I said to myself, “Enna, little A, Tirupathikke Mottaya?” 🙂