I’ve discovered something about my second-born- I don’t know that much about her. Her birthday is in a few days, and when it comes to thinking of what she might like, I am uncertain. Sure, I can ask her. But I know what she’ll say; anything will be a variation of what her older sister likes. The reality is, she lives in the shadow of a big sister, and can often be found duplicating what the elder does. Because of this, I never know if what she is choosing to do is really her choice at all. I remember a time we were making bookmarks- I gave each a pattern to follow for the front. Big Sister signs her name to the back, surrounds it with a puffy cloud and embellishes with a cross. Little Sister proceeds to turn her bookmark over and do this:
She ended up crossing out her name because it didn’t look as good as you-know-who’s. I carry this in my Bible, and it hurts a little every time I see it. I always wonder what she would have drawn, had she been the only one making bookmarks that day.
I cannot relate because my family position was the older sister throwing her weight around, so I thought I’d open this up for any advice you might have. First, is this really a problem? I mean, I’m seeing some humble and submissive qualities in her, not altogether a bad thing. People who grow up as people- pleasers may have their set of issues, but not as bad (or as many) as Type A’s, in my opinion. And maybe there is nothing wrong with liking a thing because somebody else liked it first, and having it better, because it was tried on Big Sister first. But I wonder if I’m missing some opportunity of giving each their own identity if I don’t figure out how to let this one be somewhat autonomous. How am I to encourage it, when she is isn’t often alone, and rarely gets to pick the game of ‘Tenusay’? 🙂
Definition: Tenusay- v. usually in the form of a command. Directs other children to speak lines the pretend play leader, usually the oldest sister, is thinking up as they go.
ie. “Tenusay, ‘Rick, I’ll marry you if you get a haircut’…”