Sisterly Love

I wish I could remember what her first word was, but I can’t. Possibly because I am a bad mommy who never does things like baby books, and possibly because she may have just started out with complete sentences. One of her first was “I wannit.” Another was “It’s chocolate.” Those two were often combined.

But for me the most memorable and prescient of her early sentence constructions was this one:

“Boy BAD!”

I can still see her, a tiny tyrant. Her face screwed up in righteous indignation, she would point her little forefinger at her (generally mostly innocent) brother and declare, “Boy BAD!” I’m not certain why she felt it necessary to denounce him. Four years older, he doted on her as a baby and even after she became mobile enough to destroy his Lego creations he showed amazing patience and affection. Once he remarked that his then 18 month old sister was “half demon and half queen”, which lead us briefly to refer to her as Darth Tushka, Demon Queen of the Sith.

At age 3 she declared that girls love their mommies and boys love their daddies. Lamp was welcome to her father, but as far as she was concerned she OWNED me.

She has always been convinced that, just as the Earth is round and revolves around the sun (age difference be damned), anything he could do, she could do better. On the (admittedly rare) occasions that this has not been the case, the fury has been on an awesome scale. Not that she breaks anything. At least not ANYMORE. No toddler could throw a sustained temper tantrum like that girl. Complete with vomiting. I used to suspect her of secretly watching The Exorcist to get tips. But these days it is more of a Black Look of Doom that somehow manages to pass through walls and fill the entire house with an aura of quivering sulk to such a degree that I am convinced that if butterflies were to simply fly by the window they would drop dead on the spot. Luckily for the butterflies she is usually right. About everything. Seriously, one of the rules at our house is, “Remember, Tuki is always right.”

She goes through phases of greater or lesser annoyance with her brother. Lately she informed me that he “needs to be improved.” Apparently this improvement would be accomplished much more quickly if she could get me on board with the whole plan, but I was hazy on the specifics. Also I said I was pretty happy with him the way he is, so I think she largely gave up on me as an ally.

Earlier in the year, the kids got me to watch some of the last season of American Idol, a show I generally disdain. However I was pleased that the cute boy with a guitar won. I have an admittedly soft spot for cute boys with guitars… Anyway, I was putting her to bed that night (she was 8 at the time), and we had this conversation. This is as close to word for word (with name substitutions) as I can recall:


Me: So do you think Lamp will ever be famous?

Tuki: No.


Tuki: Why? do you?

Me: Well, maybe…


Tuki: No. He’ll never make enough money. And if he makes money he will spend it all on stupid stuff. He’ll probably have to live with you.

(longer pause while I try not to laugh)

Tuki:Is that what grown-ups do when they don’t make enough money? Live with their parents?

Me: I guess so. Or in a refrigerator box. OR they could live with their successful sister!

Tuki (with fistpump): Yay Me!

(pause with a three count)

Tuki: Waiiiit a minute… (Glare of Doom)

Tuki: He’ll be all day on my couch, and I’ll be out at my job, and he’ll have a little goatee and be getting a pot belly… and he’ll have on one of those white t-shirts, with pizza stains on it… and there will be pizza boxes stacked up everywhere, and… No! He has to live with YOU!


(me in uncontrollable fits of laughter)


I love both my kids, but there are some times when I am grateful not to have siblings.


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