They're like typical sisters when they argue. They fight over everything related to sharing a room and a bathroom, especially the Wet Brush I bought Chloë, along with her 'it's a 10 miracle leave-in' conditioner, to tame her crazy, wild curls. Never mind that she decided to straighten it today with the flat iron I gave her for Christmas; none of us knew that I would be blogging about the two of them tonight!
They do get along famously well most of the time, don't get me wrong. But just like my sister Stacey and I did when we were younger - and, unlike the 3½ years that separate my daughters, we were only 17 months apart - the arguments can get rather bitter and nasty.
Sophia never puts things she "borrows" back in their proper place. Including my scissors, which is why I have five different pairs. Including my Sharpies, which is why I jumped on a recent hot deal to get a 24-pack of all different colors at Office Depot for eight bucks and change and came home with an announcement that they were MINE... until Sophia decided to help herself and then either not return them, or else leave the capless marker where I could find it, all dried out. So I know all too well the pain-in-the-buttness that is my youngest child, but Rob and I have come to embrace it with the hashtag #BecauseSophia. We use it often.
Tonight, the altercation started over that damned Wet Brush again and continued when I needed plums for a tart I'm going to make. Both girls decided to come along for the trip to the store. (Which meant, by the way, that a simple run for plums turned into the additional need for peaches, strawberries, and avocados. All money well spent, to be sure, but not what I had intended!)
Both girls like to ride "shotgun" when I'm driving, so they take turns when the three of us go out together. It doesn't matter that this works out to Even Stevens on taking turns riding there; a fight happens regardless when it's time to return to the car and switch spots.
Then, one of the girls will get huffy over a song on the radio that the other chose, because one likes it, and the other doesn't. I usually let whoever is riding up front pick what we listen to on the radio, while retaining veto power. So all this nonsense over first a hairbrush, then a seat position in the car, and finally choosing this song or that song on the radio, devolved into a perfectly icky sisterly squabble.
I know it's normal. I know it's even natural. But if you're a mom of teens and/or tweens, you know that it is annoying AF.
I decided to devise a way to get them back on the same team, Team Odette, without their really even recognizing what I was doing: by blahgging about it.
My youngest child, at 11½. Still doesn't even know how to spell her middle name properly half the time, nor does she particularly care. She's going to be a bit of a wild child when she's grown up, I just know it. A little party girl.
She denies it, but when she and I are alone in the car, we start jamming along to loud beats and club mixes on the radio together. She bops her head to the music and encourages me to join her - so of course, I do!
I can totally picture her in the club, 21 years old, and maybe dancing with her hair swinging around on tabletops and counters. And the bar, a la Coyote Ugly. (Hopefully not drunk and nekkid!)
[Side story: Once upon a time, in 1997 or '98, my friends Kristal, Shana, and I were on Duval Street in Key West, out to have some fun. I was 21, had just graduated from college, ready to party it up a little bit, right? No harm, no driving, just fun. The three of us started off at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, where I had a big salad and, of course, a big ol' margarita. Salt on the rim. All delicious. Then we wandered around, bar-hopping, and having different drinks in each one. I forget where we were when the bartender sent over a shot of tequila to the three of us. Down the hatch! We ended up somewhere where Kristal, who is Trinidadian, taught me to "wind" during a Caribbean-based song. The two of them sat at a table nearby, probably laughing at me, while I danced barefoot in the middle of the bar, alone and having the time of my life, completely inebriated. Next thing I know, someone handed me a big cup of Guinness beer. I drank that too, of course. I didn't like beer at all then, but certainly not a dark beer on top of all that other crap I'd had. After downing it on the dance floor with some unknown male, I immediately had to run to the bathroom and lose everything, complete with my Margaritaville salad at the end. What a shame; it was a really good salad the first time. Eww, I know, but this is all to say, I don't judge Sophia for her future doing much of exactly this sort of shenaniganizing. As long as she's 21, not driving, not doing ANY drugs, and please no smoking... then I'm all for it. Live it up while you can, girl!]
So that's my Sophia. Wild, unpredictable, spontaneous, but full of joy. She is my "carpe diem" child all the way.
Tonight, at Walmart, she was wearing her nightgown, had unkempt hair... broken arm from being bucked off her horse during a lesson, and did not have a care in the world. Why? "Because I can."
Her favorite song right now is this one:
She knows all the lyrics and puts me to shame when I try to sing along with her. And I love that.
She'll be 15 in the beginning of September, and she acts every bit of that and more. Most of the time, she's respectful toward her parents, sweet, and willing to help around the house without too much huffiness. She cares about her appearance very much and is about as vain as her mother. Heh. She's well-spoken and possesses the vocabulary of someone much older, but a lot of it is mispronounced because she learns the words first from reading, then tries them out in her speech.
When a club-beat song comes on the radio and Sophia and I start jamming to it, Chloë sits in the back seat and rolls her eyes, waiting for a calmer song to come on the radio. Not always patiently, I might add.
If she did any of that club-scene wild-child partying stuff I mentioned above for Sophia, I would be shocked but not completely surprised. No, Chloë has it all planned out. We're currently working on her curriculum for 10th grade, which she's heading into this year, and then her junior and senior years will also be planned out in advance. She's looking at northern colleges where she can be in a pre-vet program in a much colder, snowier environment than sultry Miami here in the subtropics. After graduation, she wants to get into a top-notch vet school and concentrate on the health and care of cats. (We already call her the Crazy Cat Lady.) One of Sophia's horse instructors, Celia, would prefer Chloë to be an equestrian vet instead; apparently there are a shortage of good ones and she'd make bank doing it.
Chloë even wants to marry a potato farmer and live somewhere in Idaho, while she's out vettin' cats (or horses or whatever). She is half-joking about this, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is how it plays out for her.
Her favorite song on the radio right now is this one:
... which should surprise no one, since she's a complete Swiftie and would love to be a part of Taylor's squad!
So there's no shocker about these two girls not getting along over the minutiae of life sometimes, right?
To end their post-shopping trip squabble, I asked the girls about their favorite colors, let them each pick which fruit to buy (Sophia wanted strawberries; Chloë preferred peaches), and asked them to tell me which song was their current favorite.
And I asked them to pose for this series of staged photos, for this blog. Between the back-to-back angry posing and discussing things that pissed them off about each other, and then this one where Sophia is sharing a strawberry with Chloë, who is holding her sister's broken arm comfortingly, my ploy worked.
They smirked. They giggled. Then they couldn't stop laughing. Paco photo-bombed the first shot of them sharing a berry, because he loves those things. Hysterics ensued. They hugged it out, without my even asking them to do so. They shared headphones and earbuds, and they came up with a song they both love the most right now:
I had to laugh. This song came out in, like, 1999 or something. Two years before Chloë was even born! And they're always dogging on me for loving my old music from the 80s and 90s. Haha, joke's on you, girls! You like music even I thought was lame when it first came out almost 20 years ago!
But enough of that. They are getting along again, and they're doing it amazingly well. And all I had to do was ask them about music and have them pose for a few silly pictures. Yeah. I call that a legit #MomWin, don't you?
Let's see how long it lasts this time.