Some days, the nicknames I have given my girls are bass-ackwards. Yesterday was one of those days. I picked the girls up from my parents and both seemed to be in decent moods. They had spent the afternoon decorating my mother’s backyard with ribbons and colored paper hearts. It looked quite festive.
Before leaving, I asked the girls to clean up their various messes and then we were on our way. As we pulled into the driveway, I got a text from my dad asking where Spice put the new water bottle my mother had bought her. If he was texting me such a question, I figured my mother was probably on the warpath.
As Spice is known to smuggle (ok, steal) stuff out of their house at times, I made sure she brought this beloved new bottle into the house and didn’t have it with her. She said she left it on the counter, so I told him that and suggested a few other places that he could look for it. Sugar gloated, knowing her sister was in trouble. I went back and forth with my dad and Spice started to get more and more upset about where she had left the bottle. I finally told her that if she didn’t tell me where the bottle was, she wasn’t going swimming. I’d rather deal with mad Spice than my mother. What does that tell you?
Spice offered up a few more places where the bottle might be and went upstairs to get her swimsuit on, certain that she’d be able to swim. I heard Sugar follow her up there and say, “I don’t know why you are putting your bathing suit on. Mama said you can’t swim.” Just then, my mother called. She was laughing and said that she found the water bottle in the freezer. Spice must have gotten confused and put it in the freezer rather than the fridge. Sugar was behind me and I could hear her giggling. She said, “Wasn’t that a funny trick I played? Hiding her water bottle?”
Really, you little devil. You knew your sister was in trouble and you even followed her around to remind her she was in trouble… and still you didn’t feel the need to ‘fess up? I sent them outside so I could get my thoughts in order. I called them back in and told Sugar that I thought she had been a little mean to her sister. It’s ok to play a trick on someone, but when they get in trouble, it’s time to let everyone know what you did. If you confess quickly enough, it’s funny. If you wait too long, one person is in trouble and everyone else is mad. The rest of our discussion went like this:
Me: I think I need to take something from you, to punish you for being mean.
Sugar: Ok, how about my iPod?
Me: Fine. It’s mine for a couple of days.
Spice: Well then I won’t use the iPad either, since we are being punished.
Me: You aren’t being punished. You didn’t do anything wrong. (This time, I muttered under my breath.)
Spice: Yeah, but I want to feel the same as Sugar feels.
Come again? You want to be punished along with your sister? Let’s remember the last time Spice got in trouble… The greatest way to punish her is to make her go without her evening snack. I swear, the last time this happened, Sugar happily scarfed down her own, then asked for what Spice didn’t get to have.