Earlier this week, the girls were in the bathtub and I was desperately cleaning house in preparation for my aunt and uncle to arrive. Corey was out of town, so I was running around like a lunatic. I was tuning out the shrieking--what do I care? They're in the tub!
Note to self--never tune out shrieking. When one tunes out shrieking, one is also tuning out any ACTIONS taking place, such as footsteps, water running, and on and on.
I came upstairs and saw a bare bottom race past me. Said bare bottom leaped into the bathtub. There was water EVERYWHERE. The bare bottom belonged to Ella. Ella knows better. When I asked her (more like screamed) why on earth she was running around and getting the entire bathroom wet instead of , well, bathing, she said that Genna told her to do it. Genna, the four- year-old, told Ella the six-year-old to run back and forth to the sink, fill buckets of water and THROW them on Genna. Because Genna told her to.
This sort of thing happens every.single.day. Genna calls the shots. Ella knows that Genna's ideas are not good ones, but she is compelled to follow Genna's lead. Ella does Genna's bidding. It's going to be a big problem in a few years.
After yelling at both of them, I singled Ella out and told her that as the older sister, she KNOWS better than to listen to ANY of Genna's ideas because they always turn out poorly. Looking back, that was a really rude thing to say. But I did. Sue me. I then shut the bathroom door and sat on the toilet to calm down while they stood outside.
There was a knock at the door.
"Mommy?" Ella sniffed. "I have to tell you something. Sometimes I get these really bad ideas in my head and I am not doing a good job of ignoring them. I am so sorry and I promise I won't listen to my bad ideas or ANY of Genna's ideas anymore."
And then Ella spoke to Genna:
"Genna, you need to stop having bad ideas in your head. When you get them, shake your head so they will go away. If they don't go away, do NOT say the ideas out loud to me. I don't want to hear them. You keep getting me in trouble."
Then Genna spoke up:
"Hey Ella--let's stand on the train table and spin around and around and get really dizzy."