So, as I talked about here and here, my four-year-old daughter Brontë is a force to be reckoned with. She’s sharp, melodramatic, and loves to be in control. She can also pinpoint your psychological weaknesses within seconds and mercilessly exploit them with her endless talking powers.
Her baby sister Bridget is only two, which is a massive difference in terms of child development. Bridget still can’t say much and doesn’t understand most of the world’s rules yet, which Brontë hasn’t failed to notice.
Brontë loves her baby sister to pieces, but she likes to boss Bridget around. A lot.
And since Bridget is still so young, her own powers hadn’t fully blossomed…
Until last night.
Brontë is in for a real challenge, folks. We may have a Dark Horse in Bridget, after all. Here we were, thinking we had this cute little cherubic baby girl with pink cheeks and giant eyes and it turns out we’ve had an iron-willed Titan all along…
Just wait until you hear what happened last night.
John and I were planning to make pork chops, corn and spinach, but we were both tired and didn’t want to face it. The kids had been crazy all day and John got a promotion at work (yay!), which is awesome, but he’s scrambling to take on a bigger workload and coming home ten shades of drained every night.
So we decided to order a pizza from Round Table instead. John wanted to get a Wombo Combo. I said we should get half of it with just pineapple because Brontë is incredibly picky and hates meat, mushrooms, olives, and anything that isn’t cheese or fruit. I just wasn’t in the mood to watch her pick everything off her pizza again while screaming for a fork then getting angry about how hard it is to eat pizza with a fork, again.
John tried to talk Brontë into adding some salami by asking what she wanted on her pizza. She said “cheese.”
“What else?” he asked.
“Sauce,” she said.
He rolled his eyes and ordered a pineapple pizza half. We all watched Hotel Transylvania before it arrived. Brontë is picky about her food but likes her movies spooky.
We watched the movie until the doorbell rang and then set up the table. Brontë reminded us where everyone is supposed to sit.
John gave her a plate with a slice of pineapple pizza. She demanded a fork then set about picking off all the pineapple. Once Brontë received her fork, Bridget jumped up and ran over to the silverware drawer, screaming “TOO! TOO!”
John looked baffled.
“She wants a fork too,” I told him. John grabbed her a fork and her face broke into an enormous smile.
John plopped some parmesan cheese and red pepper packets into the table as I distributed brown, recycled-paper napkins and glasses of water. I tore open a parmesan cheese packet and sprinkled some on Brontë’s naked cheese slice, hoping to tempt her into actually eating it.
“TOO! TOO!” Bridget yelled. I sprinkled some cheese on her slice as well before discarding the cheese envelope onto the table.
Brontë picked up the discarded packet and stuck her tongue in it. When she was finished, she grabbed another and shook the parmesan into her mouth.
Seeing this, Bridget stopped mid pizza-stream and grabbed a packet herself.
Except it was a packet of red peppers.
“NO, BIDGIE!’ Brontë screamed. “YOU CAN’T EAT THAT!”
Bridget stopped, balled her red pepper clutching hand into a fist, and gave her big sister a cold, defiant stare. She doesn’t have a large vocabulary, but that stare was the toddler equivalent of “F- you, I do what I want!”if anything is.
Without breaking gaze, she ripped open the packet, dipped her tiny finger in some peppers, then stuck it in her mouth.
Bridget still didn’t break her gaze. Her eyes started watering and she coughed a little bit, but she stuck her finger back into the packet without flinching and shoved another finger-load of pepper flakes into her mouth.
Everyone was quiet, including Brontë.
Bridget kept on dipping her finger in and eating more peppers while staring down her sister. Her little face grew pinker and pinker until her nose started running hard. I grabbed a napkin to wipe it, but was too transfixed to interfere.
Bridget face turned bright red and she coughed again, but just kept dipping her finger in and eating peppers until she finally put the envelope up to her mouth and finished them off.
Then she she chugged her glass of water, broke into a sweat, and pretended everything was fine. I kept wiping her nose and refilling her water, but she never cried.
We ate the rest of the meal in silence, completely mesmerized. Brontë quietly ate her pile of discarded pineapple. Bridget drank about five glasses of water in a row before jumping up from the table and smiling huge.
That kid is iron-willed. I don’t know if I could eat a packet of red peppers and I have an enormous tolerance for spice. I definitely couldn’t have done it at age two.
I’m still not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, that was AWESOME. I can’t tell you how proud I am to have made people with ovaries like those… a two-year-old who will finish off a packet of red peppers straight, out of sheer spite. If this girl were on your team, she would NEVER sell you out. Not even after being captured by the enemy.
On the other hand, am I equipped to handle wills this strong? What if my girls start having Sister Boss battles someday? It will be another Clash of the Titans, played out right here in middle-class America.
On the other hand, what if they get along and start to conspire? Like this photo here, where they are clearly scheming…
Between Brontë’s psychological mastery and Bridget’s raw physical endurance, I don’t know what that future holds. Right now, I’m envisioning Brontë as the Mastermind and Bridget as the Enforcer, but only time will tell.
Epic Battle #1:
Brontë= 0. Bridget=1