There is a five year age gap between The Teenager and The Terror, which is making things a bit difficult at the moment, and I suspect probably will do so for the next ten years or so. But when they’re both adults I hope they can find their way back to the relationship they once had. I’ve no doubt of their deep love for one another, I just want them to remember and retain their close bond of friendship, that they actually enjoy being together – there’s nothing as unfulfilling as loving someone if you don’t truly like them.
We’re lucky enough to live in a neighbourhood with large, green, open spaces for the children to run and play in. In fact, there’s a large green right next to our house and all the local kids come and play there each day. There’s nothing nicer on a summer evening than to hear the chatter and laughter of children of all ages playing together, it’s what a neighbourhood should be. But, one day in our suburban idyll, The Terror took sisterly love to a level previously unseen in these here parts 🙂
To look at my girls you’d never know they were sisters, physically they’ve nothing in common; The Teenager is a beautifully striking redhead with the most gorgeous cat-like eyes, she’s a quiet girl, and she’s a more “comely” build. The Terror is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, tall, thin, hurricane that whips through everywhere she goes with her cheeky grin and wicked sense of humour.
This particular night a group of children were playing together, about eight to ten in all, and they ranged in age from The Terror, who was a whopping three years old at the time, to The Teenager, who was eight. One of the boys, who was eight just like The Teenager, and quite frankly a bit of a bully, took it upon himself to literally start pushing her around. The Teenager, being the timid creature that she is, didn’t fight back. But she didn’t have to, because she has a sister and I’m proud to say that my girls share a love that is both fierce and strong.
Don’t get me wrong, The Teenager does have the usual teenager-ly stroppy behaviour of stomping around, slamming doors and generally picking fights, but rest assured The Terror gives The Teenager just as good as she gets (and sometimes infinitely more so). But this day, this lovely calm evening in suburbia, my three year old Terror was not going to stand by and watch an eight year old bully get away with pushing her sister, so what did she do? She pushed him right back! As it happens, I was walking past the window and saw said push, and I know it’s wrong to endorse any sort of violence among children and shame on me for this, but I was so proud of her in that moment 🙂 With no thought (another of her traits) she immediately jumped to her sister’s defence with a mighty roar (for an aggressive and pumped up three year old) of “Don’t you push my sister!” And you know what? That eight year old bully landed flat on his ass and was struck dumb, before quickly gathering up his pride and running home to his mum crying.
The girls came inside shortly afterwards and neither one mentioned the incident, so neither did I – I really hate those mothers that get involved in their childrens’ fights, I’m a “let them work it out themselves” kind of mother. But wait a minute, here comes one of those mothers now! There was a short, sharp knock on our door and when I opened it the now-chastened bully and his mother were standing there. She was incandescent with rage and was barely able to stay civil, as she clenched her fists tightly (I suspect so as not to lay hands on me or my off-spring) and she demanded an apology from my daughter for hitting her son. Now if you’re stupid enough to come after my kids without your full facts, then I’m going help you make a fool of yourself and sit back and enjoy the ride.
I was “surprised” that my daughter would do such a thing, so I called The Teenager to the door and asked her if she had hit him? “No” she said, “Well, there you go” I said, somewhat smugly. The other mother lost control and called my daughter and myself liars – now I can spin a good yarn (read lie) but The Teenager does not lie. Ever. And I wasn’t about to have her good character assassinated by this harpy at my door. So, I turned to the boy and asked him “Did she hit you?” and to his credit he answered honestly “No, she didn’t. It was the other one”. “Oh, ok” I feigned surprise and called The Terror to the door. “Yes mam?” she asked as she came out to the front door. The look on the other mother’s face was priceless, but before she could utter a word I continued, “He says you hit him, did you?” and her reply was beautiful “No mam, I didn’t hit him, but I did push him. Hard! He was being mean to my sister and she asked him to stop, and he wouldn’t, and when she turned her back on him he pushed her, and that’s mean. So I told him not push my sister, and I pushed him back to see how he liked it. And he fell over and landed on his bum” she finished with a grin.
I turned to the other mother, who by now was thankfully rendered speechless and said in my most syrupy voice “I’m very sorry that my three year old daughter hurt your eight year old son so much that he was crying, but rest assured she will get what she deserves. Now, is there anything else I can do for you?” Without a word, she turned on her heel and dragging her son behind her, stalked out of our driveway. And as she went, she shouted and lashed out at him, taking out her rage and frustration on the nearest thing to her, and I couldn’t help thinking that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
As for The Terror, she did get what she deserved; she got a big hug from me and I told her how proud I was of her for standing up for her sister – I did point out that we should use our words not our hands if at all possible – and then she got her favourite ice cream as a treat. That day nothing could stand in the way of her sisterly love and my hope is that nothing ever will.