All of this new sister stuff between my daughters, Clementine and Sandy, is causing me to reflect on how much of a disadvantage I’m at for not being (there should be an official verb — if there is one, tell me) “sibling-ed” until age 12. I very much identify myself as an only child and tend to hang with other “onlies,” too. Clementine and Sandy’s sister issue is reminding me of one of the two meltdowns I had in childhood.
The first meltdown was not getting a turn with the discolored, blue frog mask in preschool. I waited three months for my turn with that blue mask, but every day I got a stinking green one. It was an accidental omission, one that the teachers quickly repaired after I refused to go to preschool for two weeks.
The second meltdown was about a boy named Derek. In Mrs. Monfortes’ first-grade class, I was assigned a seat directly next to him. And by next to him, I mean that our desks were lined up in such a way that they were touching. He sat to my right. I have no idea who sat to my left. But on my right, Derek drove his imaginary cars UP AND DOWN HIS DESK ALL DAY LONG. Oh my god, I couldn’t. I tried; I tried for weeks. I tried asking him to stop. He ignored me. Vroom, vroom you idiot — MOVE ON to something else. My parents tried to talk me into just dealing with it. The teacher tried to talk me into it. My teacher and my parents together after school tried to talk me into just dealing, but finally, they moved me. I swear if they hadn’t moved me I never would have made it through that year.
Watching my daughters annoy the heck out of one another, I’m not sure what to do. Do I intervene? Let it play out? So far I’ve been playing it by ear. Right now I think I need to find some good sister memoirs.