I don’t think I ever feel more like a parent than I do when I’m sitting with my kids’ teachers and having parent-teacher conferences (I also sort of freaked out a little when I realized that there is less than 4 months left in the school year. The time! Where does it go!). To celebrate Mia’s stellar report card (she is reading 2 grade levels ahead) I took her out to lunch after I picked her up from a half day at school. We weren’t the only ones with that idea. Seemed like every place in the neighborhood was packed, bewildering the sushi restaurant waiter and the table sitting next to us. They were visiting friends in the neighborhood and had wondered if everyday was like this, if parents in our Brooklyn neighborhood took their kids out for sushi lunch all the time (ha!)
I can’t remember the last time I had one-on-one time with Mia, just like this, sitting down at a restaurant eating a leisurely lunch. It was nice. But it sort of highlighted a bunch of “issues” she’s having with Claudine lately – so much so that I discovered she had written quite a few essays and mini-books at school about her relationship with her little sister. The word “annoying” came up more than a few times. It’s kind of amazing what’s revealed when it’s written down, even by a 7 year old. I sense that she gets really frustrated when Claudine wants to join in at every toy or game that she plays, copies her drawings *exactly* when they are sitting opposite each other at their art table, and in her words, gets more attention from us. “Claudine! Claudine! It’s always about Claudine!” (Um, is it bad that I always think of “Marsha Marsha Marsha!” when she says that?).
It’s interesting to see their relationship evolve. Right now, there is a lot of fighting. Their bickering will often be the thing that wakes me up in the morning, but it’s not all bad. I know that Mia deeply cares for her little sister, plus she told me that she’s glad Claudine didn’t end up being a boy because they can play together with all the same girly toys. It does makes me wonder how different Claudine would be if she were the first born. She copies and emulates Mia so much. I always wanted a sister growing up. Which reminds me of this little snippet of a book about siblings that I read at my parent-teacher conference today:
(a short essay with illustrations on how your sibling was born, by Mia)
First, you ask your mommy for a sibling.
Then you wait and wait and wait and wait.
Finally, Mommy goes to the hospital.
Your sibling is born and you have someone to play with.
When your sister gets older, she gets annoying.
It reminds you that you don’t want any more siblings.