Living With Sisters

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Me and my sisters in June 2014

Living with sisters

My mother and I were discussing the things my children have done to each other over the years — particularly Whitney and Samantha.

Being the youngest daughter, Samantha has typically been picked on the most by her big sisters. My son, Jordan, is the youngest child in the family and once he was old enough, he took some of the “prank load” off of Samantha. However, Samantha was the original “youngest child” and I have to say she has taken the practical jokes with surprising humor (at least afterward) over the years.

One time, Whitney had a green (washable – thank goodness) marker and she colored Samantha’s entire face dark green with the exception of her eyes and just around her mouth. At the time, Whitney was about eight and Samantha was six. Whitney also used the same marker to write “stupid kid” across Samantha’s upper back. This self-esteem lowering legend could be seen above the edge of Samantha’s tank top.

When my mother saw what Whitney had done, she was shocked. “Whitney, why did you color your sister’s face?”

“Because she let me,” Whitney answered.

My mother saw the “stupid kid” blurb on Samantha’s back. Shocked, (and suppressing an inappropriate giggle) she asked Whitney, “Why did you write ‘stupid kid’ on her back?”

“Because she let me color her face,” Whitney replied, matter-of-fact.

Then, there was the time that Whitney found a pack of novelty, temporary tattoos in a box of Curad bandages. During the night, while Samantha slept, Whitney got one of the tattoos and put it on Samantha’s forehead. (How she stuck a wet tattoo to Samantha’s forehead without waking her up is still a mystery.) When Samantha woke the next morning, she unknowingly walked around with a tattoo that said “OUCH!” across her forehead. I didn’t notice it as I gathered the children up to be taken to my sister, Tammy’s, house that morning. What can I say? I was in a hurry and I have a bunch of kids. Sometimes I miss stuff, okay?

Anyway, Tammy noticed it right away. “Samantha, why do you have ‘OUCH!’ written on your forehead?”

“What? Where?” Samantha immediately ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror. Moments later, we heard the scream, “Whitney!” from the bathroom. The fight that ensued was not pretty.

My girls have been known to gather blackmail material, too. Once, one of the two male members of the household, (for the sake of their self-esteem, I won’t name which one it was), allowed the girls to put lipstick on him and gather his hair into about a hundred tiny ponytails held up by colorful plastic barrettes. Then, the girls took a picture of the finished “make-over.”

He looked like he had just wandered in from a gay pride parade.

To this day, we don’t know exactly what happened to the picture and neither man in the household would ever allow the girls near him with make up, hair accoutrements or a camera. This is probably a good thing.

I recall my own sisters and the pranks we played on each other were awful. Such as the time Tammy and Cressy told Betty Jo that they were playing with dead roaches and she would have to go get her own dead roaches if she wanted to play. (They were actually working with pieces of brown leather fringe torn from an old costume.) Anyway, in order to play, they told Betty Jo to get her own roaches.

So … she did.

A great deal of screaming commenced when Betty Jo showed up with some dead roaches she hunted down so that she could join “the game.” That particular prank backfired. They had underestimated the youngest sibling’s “I wanna play too” factor.

As my children have grown into adulthood, I have seen that they became friends as well as siblings. This was what I wanted to tell them as they were growing up, but I knew it was just something they would have to come to understand on their own. Living with sisters was hard to impossible sometimes when I was growing up.

In adulthood, my sisters have become my best friends and staunchest defenders. They are the people who (at least in adulthood) keep your secrets, share your past, know your dreams and are there to hold onto when the bad times come. And, bad times will come as they do in every one’s life. Hang on to those siblings, kids. You’ll need them someday, I guarantee it.

(L.A. Story fiction writer and poet. She is a resident of Glen where she has taken down all of her “sisters keep out” signs. Her blogs are SUPPOSED to appear on Wednesdays. Today it’s Thursday — Oops!) **Note: Portions of this blog were from a column originally published on June 22, 2005 in the Daily Corinthian by L.A. Story, but portions have been updated for the current blog post.