Punkin never ceases to amaze me. She has been ahead of the game since birth: talking, walking, reading, you name it. (Which really set me up for a lot of neurotic moments when Goo developed at a slower pace. But that’s another story.)
When we had Goo (Punkin was almost 4 at the time), we did all the standard preparations: books about being a big sister, taking Punkin to pick out a book for the new baby, practicing with a doll. She needed none of it. She is, hands down, the most caring, patient, loving big sister on the face of the planet. For all of time. She plays endless rounds of whatever annoying game her sisters have chosen. She tells them, all day, every day, that she loves them and thinks they’re adorable. She puts up with hair pulling, whining, toy grabbing, and sleep disruption. Her patience far exceeds my own. I strive to be as calm and tolerant as she is.
Example: Daddy told me was talking to Punkin the other day and she said, “I like it when Smush pulls my hair. It hurts less than when she scratches my face.” Umm, you like it when your hair is pulled, because it’s less painful than the alternative? I HATE it when Smush pulls my hair. She is only ten months old, and I already issue a stern “No hair!” when she reaches for my mane. And here is my six-year-old, willingly waving her lovely locks in front of treacherous, albeit adorably chubby, little hands. Sigh. She is so much better than I.
She absolutely floored me again tonight. Amazing event number one: she admitted to me that she cheated on a mad minute. Mad minutes are 60 second math speed drills they do at school. Apparently she copied an answer from a nearby paper. She came up to me tonight, of her own volition, and confessed. I had no clue, no suspicion. We were not discussing cheating, or school, or math. Amazing. Kid.
Amazing event number two: I ask her what happened. Here is the conversation:
Me: So you cheated on a math paper?
Me: And what happened?
Punkin: Well Mrs. S didn’t do anything.
Me: Mrs. S knows already?
Punkin: (with an isn’t-it-obvious-tone) Yeah, she knows. I told her.
Me: You told Mrs. S? By yourself?
Punkin: Yeah. After we finished mad minute, I went up and told her that I cheated. (Slightly ashamed) I just… really wanted to be honest, Mommy.
Me: *fighting tears, giving Punkin the biggest hug. ever* Punkin, I am SO proud of you!
Punkin: You are?
Me: Absolutely! You made a mistake, and admitted that you were wrong, and were willing to face the consequences. Some grown-ups aren’t even brave enough to do that. I’m so, so proud of you.
Punkin: *smiling* Mrs. S said she was proud of me, too. She didn’t even make me change my color.
(Color changes are her teacher’s warning system. Green is good, yellow is a warning, blue is lost play time, red is a letter home.)
Seriously. This happened. Tonight, I caught a glimpse of proof that maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something right. It’s easy to wonder when there are markers all over the table, Cheerios on the floor, and Goo is in the time-out chair for the 27th time today. But my Punkin made not just a good choice, but an exceptional choice. A choice that few people are willing to make. She chose to be honest, to admit her mistake, and to accept the consequences, whatever they might be.
So not only is she the greatest big sister ever, for all time, absolute. She is a shining example of what I strive to be. She is just plain awesome, in every sense of the word. I want to be like her when I grow up.