Have I mentioned that my girls fight? If not, then...my girls fight. It's not out of control though, and I would be kind of worried if they didn't, actually. Since I don't have a sister, I am really interested in the sister dynamic (hey, if anyone has a good book on sisters, please recommend it!)
The truth is, they're crazy about each other, and they drive each other crazy too. Whenever Lucy goes anywhere Elaine doesn't, she makes sure she brings something home for her. Each Monday when I pick Elaine up from daycare, her teacher tells me, "She's been talking about Lucy all day." And every time I pick her up from anywhere Lucy is not: school, church nursery, whatever, the first thing she says to me is, "Wanna go see Lucy."
Then when they're together they fuss and push and infringe on each other's space and usually both end up in tears. Last night I dropped something off for Darren (he was at our church's pastors' conference) and left the girls in the car for a minute or so (it's safe there, I promise. Some of our friends were out there too. It's not like I left them in the grocery store parking lot!) When I came back, they were both bawling.
"What is up with you two?" I asked. Lucy sobbed, "I told Elaine that it was my turn for Mama Time especially because I haven't seen you all day, and she said, 'No, no, NO, it's MY Mama Time." (I can just hear her saying this too. Or rather, roaring it. Because I hear it several times a day. Oh, and Mama Time is their special individual time to sit on my lap in the rocking chair.)
Then when they got home they fought over the fact that I said they could not have goldfish crackers because they just had dinner--Lucy accepted this; Elaine did not--and that it was Lucy's turn to pick what CD they were going to listen to and Elaine's turn to pick what book we would read. Finally, I made all those decisions. Then, as I do almost every time they fight, I ask them to apologize to each other, give each other a hug, and tell each other "Best sister" (which sounds sort of Japanese now that I think about, like "most honorable sister" or something). Sometimes they say it grudgingly, but they do always say it.
Something happens after I tuck them in bed and close the door, though. All fighting ceases, and they are united in mischief. I give them the same lecture every night. "Lie down in bed, and no getting up. You may whisper quietly. That is all." "OK, Mom!" "Yes, Mama!" Then I go downstairs, and the fun begins. I hear feet pattering around, I hear giggling turn to uproarious laughter, I hear singing and loud talking.
Now I know that, yes, technically, they are not obeying. But, in the words of my mom, sometimes you just pretend you don't know. They're not being destructive, and they're not coming downstairs and bothering me, so it's all good in my book. Plus...they're having some sister time. And really, that's the way it should be.
The other night (after a bedtime filled with much glee) I went in and checked on them around 10:00 p.m. They each have their own beds, but this is what I found...