My daughter was a perfect toddler. I’m not trying to sound conceited, but I thought I was pretty great back then. My daughter wasn’t so much an angel, as I was the ideal parent.
Then I got pregnant with my son. Before he was born with his health issues and quirky behavior, my precious girl started saying things to me that she had never said before. Things like, “No! I don’t WANT to!” Wait, what? You were perfect! You were so good that I went and got pregnant for another one. I was duped!
When my son arrived, I realized the cold, hard truth. I was just an average parent who got really lucky with the behavior of her first-born. And, now that she is twelve, I’ve found that she’s pretty typical too.
She likes to sit in her room listening to music, she loves hanging out with her friends and she doesn’t talk to her little brother unless the conversation is an argument. She also doesn’t always tell the truth. Dealing with this tween in our midst has become a bit of a handful.
The other night, my husband and I dropped the kids off at my mom’s house so we could attend a wake. When we were leaving, my husband kissed our daughter on her forehead and said, “Be nice to your brother, okay?”
She replied, “I will, Dad.”
Then he turned to our son and asked, “Buddy, you’ll be nice to your sister, right?”
Which is when we realized we have an entirely different kind of handful with this kid, when my son said, “Probably not.”