Christina M. Currie: Daughter's seniority

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Katie clearly understands the English language.

I can tell this by how precise she is when she relays my instructions to Nikki.

I'm not talking about the "tell your sister to clean her room," type of instruction. I'm talking about the one where I'm standing in front of Nikki, telling her to do something, and this little voice behind my head bellows out the exact same thing.

She pretty much quotes me verbatim, which is funny because she rarely listens to me verbatim.

She sure works to ensure that Nikki does, though.

The 14 months that separate my girls evidently provide what Katie believes to be clearly defined seniority.

She really thinks that she -- being a few inches taller -- is in charge.

To that end, she has become quite the tattletale.

Now let me start by saying I don't think there's a thing wrong with a tattletale.

As a homeowner, I don't have a single problem knowing what's going on in my house.

As a parent, I don't have a single problem knowing what my children are doing.

My children will never get yelled at for telling -- though I may ignore what they're telling for.

I know there will come a day, that I wish I knew what my children were doing. That I wish one of them would break that code of silence that seems to accompany puberty. So, while they're still young and not afraid to blab ... bring it on.

Anyway, about twice a night, Katie stomps out of the bedroom, says "Nikki's talking," throws her nose into the air, "hmmphs" and stomps right back in.

Sometimes Nikki gets in trouble for talking. Sometimes Katie gets yelled at for being out of bed. It's really a crap shoot on her part.

But I guess that's a risk of being a tattletale.

I'm not really sure why Katie does it, but if I had to guess, it's her attempt at being the little mother. She's not being malicious.

Nikki on the other hand, is picking it up out of spite.

And I don't blame her. She doesn't get away with ANYTHING.

Just wait 'til Katie's a teenager and her little sister turns the table on her. She'll regret all the nights she felt smug as Nikki stood in the corner for playing instead of sleeping.

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