20 June 2012

in which i eat a dime and have a grand adventure {part 1}

I opened my mouth to give the rallying cry of little sisters everywhere: "So there!"

This phrase, I'm sure, was uttered by some cave-dwelling little girl as she and her sister played with their toys—made of bones and dinosaur teeth—while their dad desperately tried to figure out fire and their mom painted the walls of their cave with pretty pictures of animals.

"Girls, stop fighting, and come look at how I've decorated the cave," their mother might've called out. "It's not like these mean anything, these cave paintings; I had to paint a hunt because animals are so easy. Don't you think they really brighten up the place? I bet nobody else in Lascaux has a cave like this."

As the girls stared at the cave art, thinking they would've rather had paintings of their toys, the little one probably pulled her older sister's hair, then whispered, "So there!"

In another classic baby sister move, she probably then turned sweetly to her mother, gave her a big hug, and pretended to have done nothing wrong.

It's a useful phrase, an essential phrase&mash;this so there—but when I opened my mouth to really stick it to my big sister, nothing came out.

No rallying cry.

No triumphant argument winner.

No so there at all.

What did come out was a slow-release hiss of air, as if I had become a fat bicycle tire with a small leak. Or as if I were trying to imitate the dull roar of a crowd at a football game, an odd thing for a 3-year-old to imitate, especially when she's in the midst of a fight.

My entire body panicked, and I stared at my sister, trying to silently communicate—well, besides the hiss/crowd roar sound—that other essential line little sisters have been saying to big sisters for generations and generations: "Help me! You're bigger and know what to do!"

Not taking her eyes off me, my sister yelled, "Dad! Come here! Kamiah swallowed a dime!"


But why would I eat a dime, beyond that I was a stubborn child? {One frequently referred to as "that little hellion," possibly because I once broke my grandma's statue of Jesus and showed no remorse.}

You can read Part 2 to find out more.

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