“MOM! Allie dumped a cup of water all over my bed!” Paige was screaming.
Oh for the love of all things holy…
“WHAT is a cup of water doing in your room to BEGIN with?!”
Calmly, “She was thirsty, so I got her a cup of water.”
“Allie Elizabeth! Get down here RIGHT NOW!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming!” she finally yells.
God help me if they ever make me get to three. I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to do when I get there.
“Did you dump a cup of water on your sister’s bed?” I ask, as she stands on the stairs, a safe distance from me.
She gets high pitched. She gets squeaky. She’s hyperventilating, and twirling her hair like a mad woman. I’m catching random words, “Sissy….<squeaky, squeal-y, muttering> on purpose…..<squeak, mutter, squeak>….and water….<splutter, spew, squeak>….and then I dump the water! <twirl the hair, twirl the hair, twirl the hair>”
“I am VERY angry with you right now. Go turn off your sister’s light, and come downstairs. You’re not allowed in her room right now.”
She does so and comes down with the saddest face you’ve ever seen, and crying, because as trouble-y as she is, she just hates being called out. She goes to the door leading downstairs, and I think she’s going to go to her room to cool down. And I’m praying she does, because frankly, she missed her nap and her temperament has been headed downhill for the last four hours.
But then she appears in the doorway of the dining room. Tears streaming down her face. The bottom lip puckered out pathetically. “Mama!” she sobs. “You still love me?!”
If anything can erase a mother’s anger, it’s that sentence.
“Well that’s a silly question,” I say. My voice softened. My arms opened in a welcoming hug. “Even if I’m angry with your actions, I still ALWAYS love you. Capiche?”
“Capiche,” she says, and nuzzles into my chest.
“But listen to me. We treat our sister the way we want to be treated. Do you want sister to kick you?”
Head shake no.
“Then you don’t do it to her. Do you want her to go down to your room and dump a cup of water on your bed so you have to sleep on wet sheets?”
Head shake no.
“Then you don’t do it to her. You need to go tell your sister you’re sorry.”
An hour later, Paige is yelling again. “MOM! Allie was pretending to be a dog and actually LICKED me! It was DISGUSTING!”
Allie is hot on her heels. She has to do quick damage control before I get too angry. She must explain herself. She has the look of mischief. A gleam in her eyes. A smirk on her face. And she says, “You still love me?”
And now, I have been effectively played. It’s hard to be mad when they’re just so funny.