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Respectable Sister Material

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Some months ago my mom went out of country, and I went to pick my sister up at my aunt’s house. On my way back, I was carrying my sister’s stroller, her car seat, bag of clothes and toys, my own bag, and the baby herself. A man saw me and asked: “single mom?” And I answered, “worsd than that: single sister.” Which obviously means I had to take care of my sister and my mom. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is a great, caring person. But sometimes she fails to understand that she is the mother (except when she needs the authority), and I never know which one deserves time out. Mother believes she is the only person in the world that works and has a kid at the same time, especially when I ask her why haven’t she read to Evelyn or bought her favorite cereal: she yells at me that “I can’t do everything, you know? I do everything alone!” So I’m still working on a nice way to tell her that is not the case. She probably also thinks that I spend my days laying around, with a coconut, reading a book, but that is also not the case.

Truth is, I don’t think my mom had much training. I was raised by my grandma, and having to raise Evelyn was the biggest surprise my mom has ever had. I remember when she told me she was pregnant, and I promised that it would always be the three of us fighting together, that a father was completely unnecessary. Evelyn doesn’t think the same, and she’s crazy about her dad, but that was not the point I was trying to make. I understand my mom’s lack of wisdom when it comes to the baby, but I never had a kid, either, and I try to be respectable “sister material” all the time. I would certainly appreciate if I could trust that Evelyn is eating the right things, reading the right books, visiting the playground daily, and so on.

We have an aunt that is really good at it, and I mean good. She has it all down to a science, and knows how to make Evelyn behave and eat whatever she needs to. She knows all the songs she should sing and all the places she should take her niece, and how to teach her stuff. I’m obviously not that good, but I try to learn. My aunt has been around for longer, and has been dealing with kids for longer than I can remember, so she’s a model for me. Gone are the times I hoped my mom would be that model. Sometimes it worries me that Evelyn will someday start calling my aunt “mom” since she’s the fun one, the responsible one, the active one … but we can’t really blame her if she does, can we? Mostly I just wish my mom would get out of her comfort zone and have some fun time with our little princess. I know she’s not easy, and she can get to our last nerves sometimes (ok, most of the times), but she’s a kid, and should act like one. I know my mom’s life isn’t easy, but I’m sure it’s not easy for anybody. If we stop all action waiting for life to get better, princess is going to get old and will be mortified if we ever take her to any place again, and then we’ll have to master in all kinds of new techniques.

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