A tale of two sisters


 Due to circumstances not entirely out of my control, I have one daughter who’s learning to drive, and one daughter who’s learning to use the potty.  One daughter who cried today because she has an ankle injury and can’t run in Thursday’s track meet, and one daughter who cried today because I wouldn’t let her dump the contents of my purse on the floor.

Separated by 13 years, they are night and day, these two girls.  Emma is more quiet and reserved, taking everything in.  (In the words of Tim’s mother, “Emma doesn’t say much, but when she does, it’s really important.”) She is cautious, calm, quiet, quick-witted, sweet, self-assured, and can come across as somewhat aloof.  She never played with toys, but preferred to play with whatever was available, or to just sit watching, smiling and laughing. She is very much a mixture of her dad and me – she looks more like me, but has more of his personality.  She has been my best friend for years, my favorite person to hang out with, my pal for those years it was just the two of us.

Margaret is a world of contradictions.  She’s a girly-girl tomboy, feeding her dolls one moment, and crawling down the stairs head-first the next.  She is bossy (or, as we said in my family, she’s “like Aunt Gertrude”, one of my paternal grandfather’s seven sisters.)  Talking constantly, she keeps up a running commentary of what’s happening, and when she’s not talking, she’s singing at the top of her lungs.  She is hot-tempered and hilarious.  Affectionate and obstinate.  Always right. Likes to break things.  She’s like me on steroids.

Between them, and with David in the middle, they require every parenting skill I have, and some I don’t even have.  They are crazy about each other – for whatever reason, they don’t fight with each other the way they each do with David. (Yes, I have to remind Emma that she’s 15 and he’s 5). 

Must be a girl thing.



Filed under Parenting

5 responses to “A tale of two sisters

  1. Michelle M

    This is not a girl thing~~this is a kid thing,my 2 boys are 7 yrs apart,and they are different like night a day>Logan 13 is quiet reserved,looks just like his dad but personnality is me,Jake 6 is wide open,looks like me but has dads personnality.And man do they fight…….Its an everyday fight to get them to get along!!!I love that I was older when I started to have children cuz they keep me young>but the big question is do we still have the same patience at our age?

  2. Maria

    Nice one!! 🙂

  3. Mary Austin

    Oh my gosh – I am so there, the driving/potty thing. I don’t know which one I prefer – and then I’ve got one smack in the middle who can’t decide if she is 15 or 3! Emily says I’m learning with her so the others will have it easy – although nothing is easy with either Lily or Hana….

    You make me feel less alone and crazy!


  4. Deborah Maue

    Michelle – I was thinking about your “patience” question, and for whatever reason, I think I have more patience now than when I was younger. Maybe it’s the perspective I have now, knowing that with each stage, “this too shall pass.” But I also think I recognize that Margaret isn’t doing things specifically to annoy me, but because of the phase she’s in at the moment.
    Mary – I’m so glad that I make you feel less crazy. Knowing that someone else is going through the same things I am certainly makes me feel less crazy.

  5. Karyn

    How did I miss this? It is GREAT!! I should write something astute and witty about how different my boys are … and they are!

    BUT! I can’t get past this one little line that seems to have escaped everyone else ….

    “She’s like me on steroids.”

    OH MY WORD!!!! You are a better mother than I could ever hope to be! YOU have more spunk, energy and enthusiasm than just about anyone I know, including me! And I am not sure I could survive one day of parenting you on steroids, let alone a three year old! WOW!

    I can’t wait to meet this child! 🙂

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