This week, Daisy came down with one of those childhood viruses that no one seems to get over the age of seven. It's called Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. It basically involves sores all over the mouth and throat, fever, and spots on the hands and feet.
We were both lucky and unlucky. Lucky because my tutoring was cancelled for Friday, so I could be home, and unlucky because the virus meant we had to miss Daisy's school carnival last night, which she had been looking forward to for weeks. Daisy had several robust cries yesterday. It was one of those disappointments where all you can really do as a parent is agree that life isn't fair and realize that character building is in progress.
The kids vacillated between playing together nicely and beating the crap out of each other all day. I brought out a game for them to play, which involves using small fishing rods to capture these little plastic fish. Instead of doing the logical thing and playing the game together, a fight erupted because Daisy wanted to play the game with her stuffed kangaroo, who apparently is an avid fisher, while Violet wanted the game all to herself. I caught Daisy slugging her sister pretty hard, so I sent her to her room for a time-out. There was a lot of hysterical screaming, and I knew it wasn't really about the fish game.
After the time-out, I sat and talked with Daisy and we could see Violet happily playing the fish game on the floor in the next room. Violet was naked, which recently is how she rolls when chilling at home. Daisy pointed at her and said emphatically, "THAT is NOT my FRIEND!" I replied with THAT is your BEST FRIEND. Daisy responded, "NO!" with a tone and look that said: please don't condemn me to a life where that is my best friend.
I tried to reason with her: You're sisters. You have each other for life and no one can replace your sister. Besides, anyone would want a friend like that. Just as I was finishing the last sentence, Violet stood up in the other room. The handle of one of the fishing rods was stuck in her bottom, so it looked like she was fishing off her backside, and she walked around as if she didn't notice a thing. It was the best laugh Daisy and I have had in awhile. Daisy said, "EVERYONE wants a friend LIKE THAT?! I don't think so, Mom."