Last Sunday I did something very special. Well, it was not “swimming with dolphins” -special, but it was more like ”Not something you do every day, but will probably do again real soon” – special.
I took the eldest to the petting zoo. Alone. Without her father or her sister. Just us girls.
The youngest was sick and my husband had to work – on a sunny Sunday, poor thing. So while n°2 took a forced and much detested nap we set out to explore a new petting zoo which has recently opened in the neighbourhood.
There was nothing special about the petting zoo, we do that fairly often, but it was special because it was just her and me.
Ever since n°2 came into our lives we have almost never been alone, a few trips to the grocery store not included. Since I had both children within the space of 17 months all her memories of time spend alone with mommy are either gone or turned into misty reminiscences of which it is unclear whether they were ever real.
Don’t get me wrong : my children love one another dearly, except of course when they both want to play with the same Barbie doll, then you better remove all sharp objects from the room. But part of being the big sister is that you are rarely the sole subject of your mother’s attention for a couple of hours. You always have to share mommy with someone. And since n°2 enjoys playing the part of ‘Baby’ with gusto she all too often steals the limelight, leaving poor n°1 standing on the sidewalk in the semi-darkness.
So to get mommy’s attention she turns to monkey tricks. Running about, screaming, jumping on one leg all the while yelling : “Look mommy, look what I can do!”. Anything to bring the spotlight back to her.
I imagine being an elder sibling is a bit like being a former A-list star, who has sunk down to Celebrity Has Been – level and tries to regain her/his glory by participating in “talent” shows, getting pregnant, having fake weddings, much talked about divorces… you get the picture.
But this Sunday she was without doubt the star of the show. We didn’t do much. We just walked about, looking at the animals, commenting on the smell of the pigs, I held a baby rabbit so she could pet it (mentally praying the poor frightened rodent wouldn’t pee or poop all over me), we climbed stuff, we jumped on a bouncy castle, we went down a slide together, hand in hand. But when you are four life doesn’t really get any better than that.
So it is really not surprising she insists we have to going back when n°2 feels better. Because every girl deserves to pet a baby rabbit and slide down a slide with mommy, the slide is big enough for the three of us anyway.