Wednesday, June 21, 2006

S is for Scary. Period.

S stands for Stubborn
S stands for Strong
S stands for Scrappy

S has always been a bit mean spirited. She is a menace to her brothers much of the time. To this, people are always quick with the explanation, “Well, she has to keep up with two brothers.” But this couldn’t be further from the truth, C and JP would not hurt a fly. They would never think to torment their sister for sheer pleasure the way she does them. There are many times we have to come to their rescue because their little sister is pummeling them again, or simply because she’s threatening to. With the introduction of GK, her demeanor has become somewhat exaggerated with extra fits and crying and general unpleasantness thrown in for good measure. She doesn’t direct this at her new little sister, but the boys seem to be fair game. We understand that S was the baby, and the only girl for a long time, and that GK is intruding upon that territory. We deal with it by making sure to make time for just her and reminding her how special she is and what a good big sister she is. We’ve also sent the boys into hiding, so you may not be seeing much of them around. They’ll be safe and they’ll come out when the storm has cleared. The boys have gone to the mattresses.

This evening, before we got to the park but after S had thrown a tantrum regarding pooping, Kristy said, “I think S is about to start her period.” A shiver ran up and down my spine that can only be likened to a ruptured disk.
“I don’t want to hear that again for 15 years,” I said.
“She’s 3 1/2 now, it’s not going to be that long.”
“I know, but I don’t want to hear that again for another 15 years.”

I know my daughters will grow up. I know this is coming and I’m scared of it like nothing else. The thought of boys and choices and periods makes me nauseous to think about now when I look into their little chubby faces. I’ve talked to other fathers who have teenage daughters and they all seem to handle the situation with a certain amount of distraction. They know what’s out there – they were all boys once themselves – but they don’t dwell on it. Well, there are times when I dwell on it. And it’s those times that I hold S close, tell her that she is the meanest little thing I’ve ever seen, and that I want her to stay that way for as long as she can.