Fickle Finger Of Fate

When my daughter Cailey was born, her sister Emme had just turned two. From the moment Cailey emerged, mad as a hornet with her brillo pad orange hair, I knew she would be a force to be reckoned with. She has seldom disappointed.

Emme developed an unfortunate habit that would come back to haunt her, all these years later. Whenever she happened by her baby sister, innocently seated in the bouncy seat, Emme would quickly give the sleeping babe a little head slap, and then continue on her way. This caused great commotion for all concerned. I’ve heard of older siblings acting out in all sorts of ways when the parents bring home an unwelcome and permanent house guest. It could have been worse, I suppose. I know of one child that took to defecating on the carpet when his mother presented him with a baby sister.

There was suitable punishment extended to the guilty party, and stern warnings from me. I explained to her that she really should be extra nice to her baby sister, because that’s what Jesus would want her to do. And while that’s true of course, I was mostly concerned that this little strawberry haired pistol, would be able to clean Emme’s clock, in short order, as soon as she was mobile. As usual, I was not wrong.

I look at my girls as “bipolar opposites.” While Emme has usually been compliant and easy going, Cailey is a little firebrand with a distinctly Irish temper. While they love each other dearly, they are prone to bicker and fuss, and on occasion I have to step into the middle of an all out skirmish. But lately, I’ve noticed that Cailey has devised a rather devious way to get even with her sister. It’s brilliant really.

I was stationed at my customary spot in the kitchen, overlooking the family room. I’m able to peer over the counter, generally undetected, to see what mischief is befalling my two girls. Recently, I spotted Cailey with her index finger up her nose. Now, there’s nothing unusual about this. But I knew from the glint in her eye, that she was up to no good. She excavated a suitable booger, and stealthily scooted by Emme, who had only moments before been tormenting her little sister, and Cailey deftly deposited the booger bomb using said index finger. She continued on her way, with a sly cheshire cat grin, stifling a giggle. Revenge is sweet.

I’ve discussed this behavior with her. We talk at length about always using a tissue, frequent hand washing, and how to work out your problems. Without the use of nasal mucus. I thought I was getting through to her. But really, I was awfully glad that she had stopped the pushing, kicking, hitting, and yelling at her sister. And so far, her sister was none the wiser. Thankfully. I cannot even imagine the fallout if Emme discovered she was wearing her sister’s booger on her sleeve. The horror. So, I haven’t made a really big deal about it.

Until last night.

I had been chastising Cailey about her unruly behavior before bedtime. We finally settled into my daughters’ room to continue reading the “Little House On The Prairie” series. We’ve been at this for quite a while and we’re on “The Long Winter.” I think I’m enjoying these books more than my captive audience. On occasion, Cailey will whine “Moooom, can’t we just go to sleep.” “No, we must get through this chapter.” Just because I want to know what happens next. I read these books when I was a girl, but apparently motherhood has killed off one too many healthy brain cells, because I have little recollection. But now, the book that we’re currently reading has both girls spellbound. Because Laura is about to meet Almanzo, don’t you know.

But I’ve digressed.

I took my customary spot on the floor, Cailey is behind me on her bed, and Emme is sitting beside me. I could feel Cailey messing around with my shirt, but that’s not unusual. She then interrupts me with “Mom! What’s that on your shoulder?” I look. Sure as shootin’, there’s a booger perched atop my shoulder. “Cailey, is that a booger?” She leans in to closely inspect the object. “Yes, I think it’s a booger.” “Cailey, where did that booger come from?” “Well, I dunno.” Sure pal.

What she hasn’t considered, is that I’m the chief preparer of all that she eats in our home. And if she wants to learn a thing or two about how to get even, and not angry, then she’s messing with the right person. In the meantime, I’ll be sitting across the room from her during our nightly reading ritual. And I’ll be inspecting my clothing a little more carefully anytime she swoops in for a hug.

February 1, 2007

23 Responses to Fickle Finger Of Fate

  • Many Many years ago my husband and brought home our wonderful little girl and show this gift from God to her brother who was almost 4 at the time. He took one look at her, looked past us into the drive and asked “So where is Benjamin Michael?” He was expecting a brother and had already named him. Well we have lots of stories (years worth in fact) about how he sold her, traded her, gave her away, loaned her out and “Lost her”. We have had many of the same talks you are having now. My advise? Hang in there. They are both adults, married and our son has a son of his own and he and his sister are very close. He tells me now, that he wouldn’t trade his sister for the world and he hope that his son will be close to his sister – in the event that one ever comes home. This too will pass.

  • OMG – I am cracking up. They learn too young about the tactics of “getting even”….the sneaky ones who are quiet about their revenge are the “worst” – LOL!

  • Too funny! I’m pretty sure that my now-8-month old is only going to become more and more of a handful, the older he gets. I’m half looking forward to, and half dreading, watching this very strong will continue to develop.

  • My poor little Keeghan was outmatched from the day his baby sister learned to sit up. She’d giggle and gurgle at him til he leaned in for a hug, and wham! out would come a chunk of hair. He was bald for about a year, til I thought he’d be safe to have hair again.

  • LOL I’m so glad none of my kids did that! Well, they did that, but they would let the party know they had boogers on them. lol
    I think my 3yo is totally in for it! She started a wrestling match between her and Sam, who is 3 months old, and he came away with two handfulls of hair! LOL She didn’t cry, though.

  • Hilarious! My children’s “warfare” isn’t as subtle or sophisticated yet (my firebrand is two) but I can see it coming. Coincidentally we’ve just started reading the Little House Series and I’m so excited that my five year old loves it. I read and reread them as a kid and its a great trip down memory lane for me 🙂

  • Sadly, I can relate to this. Caroline thinks that I am her own personal kleenex.

  • Oh man DeeDee, that was a gut buster today! One of these days I’m gonna fall off my chair and then I’ll have to yell, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” But it will be so worth it, I know!

    I think I’ve told you this before, but I LOVE the Little House books and I forced my girls to listen to me read them out loud! Even at age 42 I still read them~I’m practicing for when I have grandkids~yeah, that’s it!!

  • Hi there! I will be back to read all your stuff, because ‘funny’ is good! This has nothing to do with anything in your blog, but I saw the “Christian Women Online” cover and just had to say that Robin Lee goes to my church! She’s so sweet.

  • Hilarious! How do kids learn that boogers are offensive?
    Somehow…I repeat, somehow, my children (ages 3 & 4) have not entered the land of the booger. My time will soon come.

  • Aw, man, DeeDee. I’m DYIN’ over here! A raging cold has been making its way through our house so boogers are particularly relevant right now. Ewww!

  • I think little Miss Cailey is a hoot! Although I do believe she is slightly obsessed with boogers!

    My sister Tracy and I are 22 months apart, I’m the baby, and we were at it ALL the time! Now as adults, best of friends! And don’t be surprised one day if you are reprimanding one, and the other stands up for her!

  • You are a riot! And apparently Cailey has her own brand of humor……

  • So funny! I can totally relate with my two boys!

    How fun that you’re reading the Little House on the Prairie. I was just watching that on TV a little while ago! I got the Little House story books from the library recently, but my boys are so not interested… where are the monsters? Where are the dinosaurs? Where are the Trucks? Hopefully someday I’ll have a girl to pass on my “Little House appreciation” to!

    We have started reading our first chapter book/non picture book recently- Charlotte’s Web- and my 4 year-old has really surprised me and done pretty well listening to it while I read.

    Anyway… thanks for the cute post!

  • Oh my! I have those same two girlies at my house! “If that doesn’t put the fear of God into you, nothing will.” LOL

    I am in the trenches right next to you and hey would you mind passing me the coffee?

  • Oh, the flying booger method of retaliation. That is quite an inventive way of getting back at a sibling. I wish I had thought of it when I was younger. Hmmm…I could still use it now-my sister hates snot! Thanks for the laugh this morning! Blessings!

  • It’s just not a day without a good booger story. Oh, how I wish I would’ve had a blog when mine were younger, it’s just not as booger-ific around here anymore… Alas…

    I am LOLing this morning, thanks!

  • And this is how many a booger war begins. First one, then another, and another and another until the whole family will be covered with mucus.

    Can’t we all just get along? 🙂

    Oh, and you cracked me up. Big time.

  • Great story! I would have thought she wouldn’t have “picked” on you, though. 😀

  • And I thought my brother’s “Mommy she pushed me” flying leaps were bad. I am glad he never discovered that one. So far my kids haven’t pulled that either–I am thinking tha tis one of the benefits of homeschooling, no booger jokes.

  • Oh you had me LOL on that one! My sister is Queen of the Booger Flickers and wiped them on me more time than I can count.

    I also totally understand having polar opposite children. My girls couldn’t look more alike.. or be more different. Sure wish they wouldn’t fight so much!

  • LOL! I am cracking up over here! Boy, you sure do have your hands full, don’t you?? My girls were the same way, opposites, having different ways of getting back at each other. As far as I know, none of it ever involved boogers tho!
    Now they just both start off in a screaming match that will progress to hitting and hair-pulling if not checked. Let’s just say the more aggressive younger one started standing up for herself and the older, milder one learned how to fight back!!

  • That cracks me up. I wonder if that is a first child thing. My older daughter is agreeable and compliant. She’s very sweet. Her younger sister is also sweet but she is a pint sized terrror, too. I like to say that she NEVER suffers in silence. She shares it with the whole world. I thought it was mildly amusing and a little bit great since that way, she will never be the doormat, but this week I discovered that she doesn’t suffer being sick in silence either. My older child, goes to bed, wants to be left alone. The younger one wants to whine, complain and sit on top of me for hours on end, ending my hopes of accomplishing anything. I would think that would fit the red-headed first child, but no, the curly blond girl is a tiny tyrant.