Last night, as Biggest and Middlest prepared for bed, expressing their views on such earth-shaking topics as brushing one’s teeth or one’s hair, my brother entered the kitchen, shoulders slumped, and sighed. “I’m tired of all the complaining.”
I, being the ever-so-helpful elder sibling, said with a smile, “I think we’ve found the source of your blood-pressure problem.”
“Yep,” said Littlest, matter-of-fact, her mouth full of mashed potatoes. “Rae and Jamie.”
Behind her in the kitchen, her parents clutched one another in suppressed laughter.
Notice she left her own name off the list.
She’s only three, and provides her share of stressful moments, but she’s also the source of comic relief. About a year or more past, Littlest and Middlest were riding in a wagon pulled through the mall by their mother. Biggest followed. Middlest asked a question.
Biggest replied, “Use your brain!”
Middlest declared, “I am using my brain!”
Littlest, without missing a beat: “What brain?”
That line has become a family joke, especially when someone asks an obvious question.
Biggest and Middlest are more than just the straightmen to Littlest’s punchlines. Middlest is great with the misheard or mispronounced words. “Get in the car” becomes “Get in the cow,” to which we say, “Moo.”
Biggest watches her daddy play computer games, and she flinches, yelps, grimaces, leans, clutches stuffed animals, and otherwise physically reacts to whatever is going on in the game. The bigger the weapons and the more spectacular the takedown, the better.
Quality family time.
I tend to collect my work for the day into a pile beside the laptop, put on headphones, and escape into my own world. Until Littlest plants her elbows on my knee, looks up pitifully, and asks to be cuddled. I try to ignore pleading, or interest her in a kid show on TV, but there’s no real effective weapon against that little face. Besides, life would be poorer without goldfish cracker crumbs and endless choruses of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.