• easpenner

The Middlest One…

Updated: Jul 17

Ummm, wow, how I never could have predicted that what-was-supposed-to-be-a-casual-and-fun fall afternoon outside would lead to such a m.a.j.o.r. life lesson for Miss Observant and Monkey yesterday. I am really sure what is sparking all of the irritation by Miss O, but she has not. been. very. nice. to Monkey lately. Yes, they have been together 24-7 for the last week, because of fall break, but this started even prior to that. A few days ago, I had just about enough of her bossiness, commanding and leaving Monkey out, so she was placed in a lengthy time-out. Until she was ready to hear what I had to tell her. And I knew she wasn’t going to like it. But it had to be done.

Miss O is already setting the stage for a m.a.j.o.r. need for control in her life. At five-years-old. (Sigh.) Following right along in the footsteps of this momma. And creating an extensive teaching challenge for me. She wants things to go her way. At all times. She wants everyone to do what they are supposed to be doing. At all times. And when things don’t go her way? Or when someone is doing something they shouldn’t be doing? She lets everyone around her know about it. And unfortunately (and fortunately, to be honest), Monkey is not someone who she is e.v.e.r. going to be able to control. So, she is learning the hard way at a very young age.

Despite Monkey’s fireball sassiness, she has a heart of gold. She is the a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e. sweetest little being on the planet most of the time. She loves to cuddle, share and make everyone around her giggle with her zeal for life. But after years of sharing all of her precious “things” with Miss O and not a lot of giving back in return (because, logically, in Miss O’s mind, many of the things that are now Monkey’s were hers first), Monkey is finally getting tired of it. And being the leader of the pack much of the time, at three-years-old, she can develop some pretty creative games and imaginative opportunities that make Miss O a little jealous. So, when Miss O wants to join in, or take the game in a new direction, Monkey is no longer having it. (Annnnnd, to be totally truthful, I am pretty proud of her for standing up for herself! Because we are in a whirlwind of never-ending lessons learned in our home.) And when Miss O can’t control a situation, she gets upset.

So on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, as we were supposed to be having great fun, I found Monkey sitting by herself, sipping on a juice box, pondering life next to two giant outdoor balls. I went over to see what was going on in her little world, and I noticed that she was just staring at Miss O and Baby Nugget, having a blast with the third playground ball. I asked her if she felt left out, and she quickly sputtered a straw-embedded “uh-huh“. So, I inquired to see if she would want to play with me!?! Mood-changer! She jumped up, and we ran to the swings and cuddled up together, rocking away. (And can I tell you that she just literally learned how to swing herself…we made a sUpEr-HuGe deal!!) Can you guess who pulled herself away from her little game of “Keep-the-Ball-Away-from-Monkey” to try and join us?! You bet. Miss Observant. I explained to her that I was playing with Monkey right now since she was being left out. Insert drama. Followed by timeout. Thank goodness for acreage. Because drama is never quiet.

And I let her sit there. You better believe I let her sit there. Until once again, she was ready to hear what I had to say. About hurting Monkey’s feelings. And leaving her out. And how Monkey a.l.w.a.y.s. shares with her, but that she does not always return the favor. And you also better believe that I m.a.d.e. her look me in the eye. Because she needed to know I was serious. And I told her to let me know when she was ready to apologize to Monkey, and she could get up. Annnnnnd it took about 10ish minutes, but she finally walked the half-acre to find Monkey, Nugget and I playing with the balls. As you can imagine, her apology was not quite up-to-par, but I told her it was a package deal. Hug included. Guess who initiated the hug? And who said it was “okay” when I wanted her to say “you hurt my feelings a lot”?! Yup Sweet Monkey.


Less than five minutes later, they were friends again. They always will be. But I hope and pray each day that they have long and full lives ahead of them. Together. As sisters. And as best friends. I am the “middlest one” as well. One older sister. One younger. I love them both dearly. But I remember the moments of feeling left-out. And even 20/30 years later, there are still similar moments that pop up. And I never want Monkey to feel like she can’t speak up about it. Because even being three years old and the middlest one, she still has a voice. And it is my job to teach her to use it.

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