Charlotte was sick about a month ago -- it started out with general malaise and a lot of sleeping. I remember asking if anything hurt and she said "my ear is wet like in the pool." Hmm. That's a weird thing to complain about it, isn't it? Ear looked fine. Two days later, there's gooey amber dripping out of her ear and I thought, "Ohhhhh, my ear is wet." The doctor says she's got two things going on -- both an ear infection and pneumonia.
Thank god and ganesh, the antibiotics did worked their magic and within 48 hours, Charlotte was back to her sweet self. And then, almost like the lurking shingles virus, once Charlotte started feeling much better, she started to really annoy her sister. On purpose.
I'll admit it -- I did nothing. There was no parenting hotline to call and no crystal ball and Bernadette is so bossy 90% of the time, that I thought, pffft, turn about is fair play. I did nothing.
And a week later, it escalated as we were getting ready for church. Charlotte was singing a silly song about candy corn and wanted her sister to learn the lyrics to sing with her and B would have none of it. She spoke unkindly, then she yelled and when I got upstairs, B had her hand over C's mouth (with C still singing).
When I'm totally stumped and when my Love & Logic book doesn't have the problem in their index, I refer to my puppy training book. Puppy training says: reward the good behavior. No sense smacking them on the nose or rubbing said nose in kitchen floor puddle -- but if they pee outside, set off the fireworks, love, praise, snack.
I told the girls we'd go to church and ask Pastor Mary what to do. The standard WWJD wasn't working -- baby Jesus did not have a twin sister. And then after church, Charlotte and I would go to Sweet Cakes and indulge in gluten free cake pops. Bernadette would stay home and help James with yard work.
Ever the planner, B asked if we would bring a cake pop home for her. No.
"It's okay, you pick the flavor."
"You could bring it home and then put it in the freezer and I could have it for later."
"I know! You should buy three cake pops. One for you and one for sissy and one for daddy. And daddy doesn't like cake, so then he'd give it to me. But you wouldn't buy me one."
And the two of us in a sweet selfie. I'm thinking "Hooray, first egg-filled bakery treat coated in delicious dairy in six months and, look!, I'm still alive. "
We did some shopping. And the joy with having just one child on hand is that yes, you can play a bit and try things on and take a moment to breathe and soak it all in. (And also wonder -- why does C also try on the 6+-in heels? No imprinting from me, that's for sure.)
Also interesting to watch, normally reserved Charlotte told anyone who would listen that she had a sister that broke the rules and so she, who likes rules, gets to have a cake pop.
About eight stores later, we were ready to go home. I called James and he and B decided to take the dogs on a hike and C couldn't believe sissy wouldn't be at home waiting for her. So she cried and moped on the way home. Until we got to Uwajimaya and she found kiwi fruit.
(As an aside -- snaps to Sweet Cakes and Jamie Seefurth for telling me about them in the first place. Delicious bakery that's gluten free. It's where we go to celebrate all our milestones -- potty training successes, dental work, physical therapy graduation, end of thumb sucking.)