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Monday, July 30, 2012

When Do They Become Awesome?

I'm pretty much a rock star with siblings.  If I pass the first grade in the hall with Tyson's little sister Maia, there are very loud whispers of, "That's my brother's teacher!"  A half dozen pairs of wide eyes follow me as I walk by.  I pause and give a casual look back, lift my sunglasses, toss my hair, and sign a couple of autographs.  Maia nearly faints.  The paparazzi snap away.

Many younger siblings revere their older siblings' teachers simply by virtue of how amazed they are with every aspect of that third grade brother or sister.  A kindergartener will come upstairs ("That is how amazing my sister is--she has to go up the stairs to get to her class!") to trade a mistakenly switched lunch bag with her sister and will stand at the doorway working up the courage to enter such an unbelievably grown-up classroom.  "They are such big kids up here," she'll say to the friend who has escorted her up the long staircase to the scary but amazing third floor, "They have the big chairs!"  Not to brag or anything, but we do learn cursive in third grade.

The older siblings, however, don't always feel the same way.

Towards the end of the school year this past year, my lunchtime conversations with students seemed to revolve largely around babies.  Tips for how to get them to go to sleep.  Name suggestions.  Tips for how to get them to stop crying.  More name suggestions.   

Image: open clip art - darren beck
One day over sandwiches, the topic turned to babies crying.  Based on his experience with his now five-year-old younger sister and his general third grade tendency towards giving advice, James shared that babies don't even cry so much when they're really little.

Ammari chimed in, "After that they cry a LOT!"  I added, "Yeah, and then when they're two they just say 'no' to everything."  James and Ammari nodded in agreement.

Since James' little sister was approaching six years old, well beyond the ultra high-maintenance phase, I figured he would be an expert on when younger siblings get past the cry-all-the-time stage and the Terrible Twos.

"So....when do they become awesome?" I asked.

James replied, "I haven't found out yet."

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