Over the last month I have caught Miss C: pulling spoons out of the cutlery drawer; pulling scissors out of the junk drawer; hanging onto the ledge of the bathroom sink, feet dangling in the air; and, of course, standing on top of the dining room table – a spot all of our girls have loved dearly.
Just today, I have chased Miss C through the house with a damp cloth for her face; righted a toppled music box; and rescued her tongue from the cheese grater she was licking.
I don’t feel complacent when it comes to parenting her, I just feel slow.
At 15-months, Miss C has just upped her game from walking to running. She has also decided she is no longer content hanging out with her ma and pa 24/7; no, not when she has these vibrant creatures in her life named Miss Q and Miss S.
Though she has gotten into the habit of waking before dawn, she’s not truly settled until she’s been hugged by each of her sisters. “There’s my boo-boo,” Miss S usually calls before they embrace in a hug so tight, they end up rolling on the floor like playful raccoons.
Miss Q gives her the same reaction, often mumbling a greeting, then bear hugging her as if they were long lost souls, not roommates who’d just shared the same room for 12-hours.
But there are darker times for these sisters, times that sometimes come long after the snuggles and niceties; times that sometimes follow quickly after the first embrace. “Mum! Miss C has destroyed my fairy house!” “Mum! Come quick! Miss C is on my bed.” “No, Boo-Boo!” Please send a cheque or money order for the full transcript.
Naturally, Miss C doesn’t realize that eating the pieces of Playmobil her sisters are playing with isn’t helpful. Nor does she understand how unproductive it is to take a hairbrush and swipe it through her sister’s hair moments after it’s been carefully pinned. Though I sometimes wonder if Miss C has learned that wrecking = attention.
I also wonder if it’s a crime of opportunity, or her way of showing how much she misses Miss Q, when she pulls all of Miss Q’s clothes out of her drawers, or climbs onto Miss Q’s bed to systematically tear Miss Q’s artwork off the wall while her sister’s at school.
It does warrant a mention: I’m quite proficient at art restoration.
The thing is, Miss C is cute. She’ll always come up to you when she has sparkly stickers in her mouth and spit them out. In fact, half the time, she’ll admit to her crime before it’s uncovered, just by the way she runs in.
She’s also helpful. If you need to feed the dog, she’ll push the food container to the bowl. Need to brush her teeth? She’s at the sink, demanding her brush. During preschool pick up last week, I told a fellow mum I’d help her stack the chairs, I stood Miss C on the ground, she ran over to a chair and started pushing it towards me. Brilliant, I tell you. Sign her up for Mensa.
Of course, I’m only half joking. We’ll wait until she’s three to have her tested.
If you sit for a while with Miss C you’ll see how much of the world she is soaking in thanks to her sisters. She loves having books read to her (no, she doesn’t always rip them); she loves putting on her bike helmet and going for bike rides in the Chariot; and after 11 months of refusing to self-soothe, she has suddenly taken up sucking her thumb and twirling her hair like her big sister, Miss S.
Yes, at a time when most parents are trying to figure out a way to get rid of a soother or their child’s digits, mine has decided to pick up the habit.
Navigating the world of older sisters when you’re 15-months is a tough sea to swim. One moment they want to play with you, and another they’re picking you up and dropping you somewhere different, like a cat being put out on a stoop in the rain.
Yesterday as the littles were supposed to be getting dressed for school, I heard faint piano playing. Marching in to investigate this is what I found:
Angered by Miss C climbing on her bed once again, Miss Q found a spot that pleased them both: the closet.
Poor Miss C. One day you’ll figure out all the ins and outs of sisterhood, but between moi et toi, I hope it’s a long while from now. This stage of life might be messy but I have lots of patience, stocks in Scotch Tape and, most importantly: spidey senses.