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Mallory’s illness has been hard on Phoebe.

It’s not that Phoebe is consumed with sympathy for her big sister. Nor does she wish that Mallory would get up off the couch and play with her. No, the problem is that Mallory’s being sick has visited upon Phoebe a series of perceived injustices, which are the worst things ever for a 5-year-old.

First, Mallory was, as I said, supposed to go to a sleepover on Saturday night. Phoebe had determined in advance that she would sleep with me that night. (Neither girl likes to sleep alone; both regard sleeping with me as a big treat. Don’t ask why.) Since Mallory did not go to her sleepover, however, I told Phoebe she had to sleep in her own bed. Well. You would have thought I’d killed a kitten. Phoebe cried for hours about this. (Mallory, it must be said, cried only about 2 minutes when I told her she couldn’t go to her party, even though she’d been looking forward to it for weeks and had packed her bag days in advance.) “It’s so unfair!” Phoebe wept. When tears got her nowhere, she resorted to written communication. I found two notes that said “I am sad” – one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom. She wrote “I am sad” on the Magnadoodle. When Mallory mustered the energy to get up and do a craft with dried macaroni, Phoebe sat beside her and glued popcorn to a piece of construction paper. “That’s a nice project,” I said. She glowered at me and said: “The popcorn spells ‘I am sad.’”

Sunday night I told Phoebe in no uncertain terms that she would be going to school the next day, even though her sister was not. Nevertheless, Monday morning began with a storm of tears and tantrums about how unfair it was that she, who did not have the flu, had to go to school. “It’s either you don’t make me go to school or I keep crying,” she warned me, and was further enraged when I told her she could cry all she wanted, I wasn’t changing my mind. Finally, crying around her waffle, she grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the following:

“I think what you want for that last word is M-E-A-N,” I said.


Karen said…
Phoebe is hilarious! I'm sure though that she is not quite as funny when you are trying to get her to go to school.
aimee said…
That did brighten my day. Although, right now I feel more for Mallory. Being sick beats having to go to school.

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