Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Public Apology

I'm finally going to admit my shameful past. For a little while, at least, I was a rotten kid. I was a mean and jealous older sister when my brother Kenny was born. 

From what I was told, since I don't remember my particular episode of personal depravity, I put on a really great act of loving the little stinker for a long time. He was brought home from the hospital and I gave no indication that I was lying in wait for my chance to attack. He learned to talk, and still I bided my time. 

There are few indications that I was a sneaky kid. Perhaps there were other factors involved. He was, after all, only seventeen months younger than I was. All those things I had been praised for doing were now expected of me. He was the one being praised. Maybe that contributed to my downfall.

When I had still been the youngest, I got a lot more time and attention. Now that I was only number three of four, I obviously was no longer getting as much individual attention as I craved. One might argue that I didn't need as much. Try explaining that to a two year old. I'd like to be around to hear you... 

Then there were the grandparents. On previous visits, they gave every indication of being most interested in the marvelous advances I'd made. Oh, there were so many new words I had learned. Gee, I could walk now! Wasn't I wonderful! Wasn't I smart! And here they were, coming again for a visit. 

You guessed it. They ran right passed me, I'm told, where I waited by the window to see their arrival. Kenny had just started walking solo, and I was a big girl now, two and a half years old. 

I have to give my mother credit. She paid a lot more attention to me than my jealous little mind had realized. Once they had settled down in the kitchen for a hot cup of coffee, my mother was not oblivious to the sounds in the house. Oh, no.
She immediately noticed when strange sounds started emanating from the bathroom. The combined sounds of splashing and the constant rattle of the flushing lever caught her attention and sent her in at a run.

There she saw her poor little son being held by the scruff of his little neck, head held firmly beneath the water of the toilet by her two year old daughter, who was flushing as fast as possible. Yes, that was me. I knew what to do when something needed to be eliminated.

So I now, for the first time, publicly apologize to Kenny. I'm sorry I tried to get rid of you. I'm almost always really sorry I did that, particularly when we all get together and someone starts ribbing me about it. And Mom, thanks for paying more attention to me than I noticed. You still do, and I love you for it. Keep it up. I still need that... more than I'm usually willing to admit.

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