Greta was following Maren, “Sissy, sissy I want to play with you!”
Maren, “Greta, I just need some time alone, okay?”
Greta, “But Sissy, I want to play with you.”
Maren, “No thank you.”
Greta, “Sissysissysissysissysissy,” chasing, chasing, chasing.
Maren, “Grrrreeeeettttaaaaa! I need SPACE.”
Greta, “No, Maren, NO!”
It was about at this point that I intervened. “Whelp girls, no worries, it’s not playtime and it’s not alone time. It’s get dressed time. Maren, pick out some clothes and get dressed. Greta come with me.” Maren inhales deeply and goes to her room. Greta wiggles into her room.
Greta snuffle-whines that she was really, really wanting to play and Maren was really, really mean today. I explain that sometimes sisters play together and sometimes sisters play separately. “Not me,” she says solemnly. “I always play with Maren for everyday in the whole world.” I smile at her declaration. I think: that’s love.
Maren hollers from her bedroom, “MOM, can Greta wear her pink stripy dress so we can match?”
“Sure, ” I say, forgetting that I had vowed not to respond to hollering. I know it’s Maren’s peace offering. Greta loves to match Maren.
“NO!” says Greta simultaneously. It’s ironic because the dress is pink, twirly and one of her favorites.
Maren trudges in to Greta’s room wearing the big girl pink stripy dress with her body language letting me know she is still angst-ridden from the earlier pestering. I eye Greta with the little girl pink stripy dress in my hand. Greta stands wearing Minnie Mouse panties with her arms crossed and a scowl. We call it The Greta Stink Eye because it is serious. I kneel in front of Greta. “Remember how Maren hurt your feelings when she wouldn’t play with you?”
“Yes,” says pouty scowly Greta as she casts the look in Maren’s direction. Because, you know, drama is for the audience.
I continue in my best patient mommy tone which ideally would translate into being an actual Patient Mommy, “Well, Maren wants you to wear your special sisters dresses today so you can be matching buddies, and when you won’t do do fun sister things with Maren it hurts her feelings too.”
“Harumph,” says Greta. And I sigh because she’s three. And not rational. And likes to win even if winning means she has to take the opposing viewpoint (normally Greta is the one advocating for matching sister dresses).
I eventually cajole Greta into the pink stripy dress. I convince Maren not to openly declare victory but quietly high-fived her.
The ten minutes of tears, screeches, and scowls are gone. Quickly, they are sisters and best friends again. Maren takes care of Greta. Greta looks to Maren as wise and wonderful. They reach for each other and find security.
They have a lifetime of push-pulling ahead of them.
Sisterhood, I think, is always a win.