Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm Not Smiling At You

In truth, this is a story better told aloud, as I do a great Kate-as-an-evil-James-Earl-Jones impression. It's probably better shared just among friends to protect the guilty. Nevertheless, I share it to illustrate older siblings' ability to put the hoodlum in sisterhood.

Enter into my remembrance. It was years ago, when both girls were young ... Kate may have been 11, which would put Emily at about 8 -- that seems about right.

The evening had been going fine from my perspective ... the girls were playing quietly in their room, Marilyn was puttering about, and I was loafing on the couch ... Then, it got quiet. Yep, tooooo quiet. So, naturally, I did what any good father would do.

I crept upstairs to spy on the kids.

Atop the stairs I could hear the hushed conversation: a one-sided fight was in full swing, raging at barely audible levels to prevent intrusion from downstairs. Kate was in full Darth Vader voice mode, breathing heavy and seethingly berating her little sister for some offense tied to playing with Barbies, I think.

Peeking around the corner, I found Kate with her back to me, hands planted on her hips, blocking their bedroom doorway. Emily was trapped, cowering in front of her.

As I crept up behind Kate, I came into Em's line of vision and the little sister began to smile.

That smile infuriated the big sister even more. "Don't you smile at me!!" Kate hissed, slowly and menacingly, in the deepest, darkest possessed voice she could muster.

Emily's eyes twinkled as she wiped away a tear. "I'm not smiling at you," Em whispered in explanation. "I'm smiling at Dad standing behind you."


Kate nearly lept out of her skin as she spun to face her father (himself a life-long little brother of an older-sister). Midspin, she miraculously transformed from evil villan Vader to delicate flower Princess Leia ...

"Hi, Dad ..." my older angel chirped, with as sweet a smile as she could muster on such short notice. "How long have you been there?" she inquired, trying to calculate the depth of the trouble she faced ...

"Long enough," I said slyly. "Em, you're free to go -- I'll deal with your sister for you." Needless to say, I didn't have to ask the little one twice.

** Surveilance of Offspring by Creeping Upstairs (SoObCU) is fully authorized under Section VII (paragraph 1.4.3) of the Parental Freedom of Information Act, circa 1989.
** In recognition that Emily must have done something equally obnoxious at some point, it behooves me to point out that sisterhoodlum-ness is a shared role, both munchkins have always been delightful daughters, and they remain the bestest of buds ... :-)


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