25 February 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Siblings

Siblings have a special relationship.  I won’t say it’s good, bad or ugly, but it is special and different.  I know this for a fact.

Growing up, I can remember getting in trouble at the supper table.  My sister sat right across the table from me.  We’d get down to the peas on our supper plates.  Neither of us wanted to eat them, and neither of us was allowed to leave the table until we cleaned our plates.  That’s when the trouble started.

I’d look at my sister, and she’d look at me.. and then we’d both start to giggle.  Our parents weren’t really happy with that, but the giggles turned into full laughter.  There was no eating –anything- after that.  I really can’t remember what happened to the peas, I just remember laughing too hard to eat them.  We didn’t even have a dog back then to save our butts!  We finally got a dog.  Morsels fed under the table kept the dog happy and us out of trouble, but that was a LONG time ago. 

I was also the only one allowed to torture my sister.  I did it on a regular basis.  If anyone else tried to mess with her I’d take ‘em out, but yeah, I have to admit, I put her through the hoops.  It was reciprocal though.  She still has some of my records that she bribed out of me so our mother wouldn’t find out ‘something’ that I did.  I don’t remember what I did, but she still has my records.  

Then come my children.  Yes, siblings. 

One is fun.  Add to the crew, and you better have a good sense of humor.  A really good sense of humor, or be prepared to lose your mind.

When the boy’s got a little older there was a ritual at home.  When I got off work I needed 10 to 15 minutes to “swap gears” between work and home.  Even when I worked from home.  Front porch, my newspaper, a little bit of quiet in my rocking chair and I could handle everything the rest of the day.

Thing 3 forgot about that.  Completely and totally forgot.   

As I’m on the front porch trying to unwind, I hear yelling and screaming.  “Mama, he’s HURTING me!” “Ouch, MAMA!”  “Mama, MAKE HIM STOP!” 

Looking through the front windows of their bedroom, that faced the front porch, I could see Thing 4, with his arms crossed, standing in the doorway to their bedroom.  Thing 4 saw me, Thing 3, with his back up against the windows, didn’t realize I saw the whole thing.  About twelve feet separated them.  I saw just how bad he was hurt.

Thing 3 had nary a hand put on him, but you couldn’t tell it by decibel level of his hollering.  I was witness to the whole thing.


- Bess Tuggle