It’s been a while since I wrote about Sister of a Man-Child. She’s a darling 8-year-old most of the time, and really a very easy going, and thoughtful child. But sometimes she can take me by surprise, and cause me to reflect on the world around her and just what impact the behaviour of the Men-Children and we as parents have on her, considering she lives in an “adult” world a lot of the time.
Of course, there are other influences in her life also – the media, her friends, her teachers. I can only guess as to the source of influence for a recent text message I received from her whilst at work: “I hate my life!” I kid you not – that’s exactly what she wrote. I rang home immediately in case she was seriously suicidal, only to find out that a small incident had occurred with her brother/father and she was basically having a sulk. I am confident she learned to be a drama queen from the countless Foxtel/Disney teenage shows she watches – some saccharine sweet, but clearly some not quite so. Most of them drive me insane and I regularly demand they be turned off.
I totally blame these shows (and also the Men-Children) for her latest outburst. Upon learning we were going out for dinner and she would need a babysitter (admittedly we had an unusually busy week and I had been “out” every night at some function or meeting) she declared at the dinner table “Are you serious!” (insert indignant tone of voice). I was gobsmacked to say the least, and immediately angry, and said she was NOT to speak to us with that attitude again. Cue tears – suddenly a small 8-year-old girl not a teenager with attitude!
She also recently started walking around the house, saying to me BTW, blah blah…..so not “By the way”, but literally “BTW”. When I asked her why she was talking in abbreviations, she said she liked it. Hmmm. Just like teenagers like it. You may have noticed that “OMG” and “LOL” are not acronyms any longer, but “words”. I said please talk to me in proper English and save the text language for the iPod/iPhone thanks. I really wonder what we’re breeding some days and whether or not our children will be able to write or speak using correct English. Was I being too mean? Was she just experimenting with language? Or am I right to nip this in the bud?
When it comes to her brothers, Sister of Man-Child doesn’t want much from the Men-Children – just their love and a little attention from time to time so she doesn’t feel like an only child. It’s so rare that they are nice to her, that the other day she came running in to tell me that they had BOTH been really nice to her, and that she was SO happy. She even asked one of them why he’d been nice to her four days in a row. I have made a point to let them both know how she feels, so they might begin to realise what impact they have on their sister’s feelings, and how easy it is to earn her adoration and make her feel wonderful. It takes such a small effort on their part to be nice to her, I hope they think twice about it and change their behaviour towards her.
As I say often to my daughter, just wait until you’re 15 years old. Your 22-year-old brothers will be VERY interested in you and your girlfriends, and probably fighting to drive you everywhere and even chaperone you to parties. Bring it on I say!
You can read more about Sister of a Man-Child here: A Princess Tale