“I can’t believe I forgot to go to work! AGAIN!”
“Well, when you come back after a month of unpaid vacation and they’re only working you on Fridays, what do you expect?”
“This is the last thing I need right now, on top of trying to graduate and looking for a place—“
“You’re staying here until you finish school.”
“Yes you are. You’re making yourself sick and it’s pissing me off.”
“Uh…thanks. But I’m helping with rent and groceries and stuff.”
“’Kay. Now don’t you have homework to do?”
That’s about how it went down at my sister’s this morning. We’re not actually that terse with each other, but you’re getting the reader’s indigestion format.
To be honest, I’m glad; I likebeing part of my sister’s household. In some weird way, the insanity of the house keeps me sane.
Everyone has a clear, useful role, everyone’s treated as an equal, and therefore everyone is expected to help out (and gets an earful from my sister if they don’t) and I have someone to nag me about my homework. Because let’s face it: Sometimes I slack off and the last quarter of your undergrad studies is no time to be doing so.
And this time around, we’ve all moved up in the world! Unlike when Kali and I were twenty, we’re at least able to make ends meet every month, we’re all legitimately “grown-ups” (I maintain this concept is a lie perpetuated by people who want me to do stuff I don’t like doing,) and best of all:
We’re no longer living in a death-trap trailer that Kali bought for eighteen dollars like we did when we were twenty.
This may sound like an exaggeration, but she bought it from a friend’s mom who was moving when she graduated. She still had to pay utilities and rent on the land, which sank under about two feet of water when it rained (thank God the place was stilted) and the place was condemnable at the time of purchase.
My sister, being resourceful and a regular rocket scientist re-wired the place to make it safe for children and re-plumbed the bathrooms, so there was one working toilet and one working bathtub in each.
The toilet was a frightening affair.
The floor was sinking all around the trailer, and it would shift every time someone sat down on the toilet. My sister was convinced at about seven months along with Demonic that she would fall through the floor.
When Dozer was about two, he discovered the toilet possum.
He was entertained enough by it that he learned to imitate it. The little delinquent would wait until someone shut off the hall light after he’d been put to bed, sneak to his door, and lie in wait for someone to use the toilet.
At which point, he would hiss and effectively scare the bejeezus out of whoever was in the hall.
At two, Demonic was not as focused at frightening us as his older brother had been. He was, however, nocturnal.
At the time, he was crib-aged, so Kali was using the top shelves of his room for extra pantry space.
For the record, this did not happen on my watch. I lived in town at this point for school.
I went over one night to find my sister on hands and knees in Demonic’s room, cleaning something off the floor.
“I don’t even know how he did it, but the boy climbed out of his crib and up the shelves so he could get into the maple syrup! And then he rubbed it into his HAIR,” she snarled.
“Well, at least it wasn’t Nair.”
Dozer had used Nair to the same effect at one point.
But that’s another story.
As I write this, Baby Chucky, aka The Squidge, is developing her own devious persona.
I can only wait in amused pseudo-dread to see what that one’s going to concoct at two, but I suspect it will be exponentially viler than her brothers’ tricks.
After all, she IS a girl.