a real mother

Is A Baby Sister Really Too Much To Ask For?

2013-04-20 11.16.56My youth was idyllic.  My days were drama-free. It was so darned peaceful that Mr. Bluebird occasionally landed on my shoulder to whistle a cheerful tune.  I never heard those words so frequently uttered by Country Squire station wagon driving dads on family roads trips: “DON’T make me pull this car over!” But my childhood was agreeable, not because I was the spawn of Ward and June Cleaver.  It was not because I was the Perfect Child.  It was calm for a singular reason – I was an Only Child.

But I needed a sibling.  I wanted a Big Brother just like my two best friends.  I begged my parents for a brother.  Without spilling the beans on the birds and bees, they gently explained that this was never, ever going to happen.  My six-year-old brain understood the word “no,” but not the underlying mechanics that prevented my plan from becoming a reality.

As a more worldly seven-year-old, I decided a baby sister would do.

As a second grader, I launched a full-scale Jack Abramoff-style lobbying effort to secure a sister.  I created a grassroots campaign utilizing the alliances of friends with younger siblings to influence my parents.  In a stroke of perfect timing the teacher asked the class to write a story about our family: the perfect opportunity for a journalistic expose of My Life With The World’s Most Unreasonable Parents.  As I read my story out loud, I watched with joy as my teacher’s eyes widened in what I assumed was horror at the situation known as my family life.  When she told me to stay behind at recess, I thought she would say, “You poor dear!  I can’t fathom that you’re forced to live with such selfish parents who don’t understand your need for a baby sister.  I’m calling them right now.”She called them all right.

But the conversation wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  My work of complete fiction described an argument worthy of a visit from CPS.  After my parents’ real ranting subsided, I made my last ditch effort as succinctly as I could.

“I just wanted a baby sister,” I said looking at my shoes, sniffling softly for maximum dramatic impact.

My parents had a change of heart and decided that I could use a little companionship.  So they gave me a German Shepherd.

At that moment I vowed, I would never have just one child. One day, I would be The Not-So-Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.  My imaginary brood would experience the joy of siblings.

Fast-forward thirty-two years.

There I stood with two kids in diapers.  And I didn’t have a clue what to do other than schedule a tubal.  At that moment, I was pretty sure taking care of a box full of German Shepherd puppies would have been easier.

Fast-forward seven more years.

That’s when the sibling fighting began in earnest.  I somehow thought a crazed badger was trapped in the backseat gnawing on Younger Boy’s leg based on the ear-splitting volume. “HE’S LOOKING AT ME!” Younger Boy shrieked at a windshield shattering volume. “HE STARTED IT!” Older Boy screamed back.

Fast-forward nine months.

The fighting suddenly stopped.  The troops, it appeared, had reached a truce.  In a brotherly alliance, they sheepishly sidled up to the kitchen table where I sat.  “Can we ask you for something?” Older Boy said.  “We wanted one for a long time,” Younger Boy continued.

I gently explained that there would be no more babies.

They just stared at me.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mom,” Older Boy said.  “But can we have a puppy?”

1 thought on “Is A Baby Sister Really Too Much To Ask For?”

  1. This was the funniest story I’ve read in ages! My…the things one plots as a six year old…:) and a truly befitting ending to the endearing story…made my day.

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