For all of their childhood years, my daughter Amy just wanted to be different than her big sister, Corrie. Corrie played the violin, so Amy wanted to play the clarinet. If Corrie wanted to watch Bugs Bunny, Amy wanted to watch Mickey Mouse. It wasn’t like they fought about things, because mostly they didn’t. The girls got along very well, and were always good friends. Amy just didn’t want to be mini-me to her big sister. I suppose that because they were born so close together…just eleven months apart…they seemed to be the same age by the time they could both walk. Corrie had the distinction of being the big sister, and everyone knew it, because Amy forgot to grow. At just 4’10 (which is hard for me to say, because we always thought it was 4’11, until her husband, Travis proved us wrong), there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that she was the youngest. Of course, they would have thought that if she had been the oldest too, so I guess, for Corrie’s sake it was a good thing that the shorter child was also the younger child.
For Amy, who never really felt like she was the younger child…but rather felt like they should be equal, there always seemed to be something to prove. It wasn’t exactly like a competition, but rather an opposition. She didn’t want to compete to be the best at the same things Corrie was doing, she just wanted to be her own person. That is why, no matter what the situation was, Amy wanted to do the opposite of Corrie. If Amy couldn’t be the oldest, she would have to be the opposite. There were the natural things that worked out in Amy’s favor too…being shorter, being blond while her sister was brunette, even needing glasses for distance vision, while Corrie needed them for near vision. Yes, these two daughters of mine were as opposite and opposite could possibly be.
You would naturally think that there would be nothing but fighting in our household, with all this I want to be different than her opposition going on, and sometimes you would be right. The argument was mostly with their mother though. I saw nothing wrong with both girls playing the violin, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth, and Amy quickly informed me of the error of my ways. I would have even dressed them alike, but that was also a no no! So, I learned to see these two little people, as two very different individuals…not a bad thing I suppose. And, while Amy did everything in her power to show her individuality, she loved her big sister. And, every so often, I would catch a little look…usually so subtle that it went unnoticed until years later in a picture, that told me that while Amy didn’t want to be mini-me to Corrie, she thought her big sister was pretty great, nevertheless.
When Amy was a little girl, she had a unique way of talking. Her pediatrician said she breathed her words. Basically that meant that drink of water became ink of ata. Most of us would just call it baby talk, and so it was. She has completely grown out of those cute little baby days, but I will never forget all the cute little things she used to say.
There was her Texan days. Instead of saying good night, Amy would say goo naaat. We used to get such a kick out of her funny little way of saying things. We called her our little Texan, which was funny in that she had never been to Texas, much less been there long enough to pick up any accent. And no one we knew had a Southern accent either. Just our Little Texan. There were quite a few of her words that came out with a Texas accent, in fact. In fact, just about any word that had an i turned into an a with Amy.
Her little accent carried over into other phrases too, like the time she told my sister, Alena that she had dot in her eye. Alena said, “You have a dot in your eye?” Amy said, “No!!! Dot!!!” Alena said, “Dot!!” And Amy said, “No!! Dot!!” Well they went on at an impasse for a while, as Alena tried desperately to figure out what Amy’s problem was. Finally in one of those forehead slapping moments, Alena said, “Ohhhhhh!! Dirt!! You have dirt in your eye!!” To which and exasperated Amy said, “Yeah, dot!!!” We have laughed and laughed about that one for years.
Lots of kids have funny little ways of talking baby talk, and in my opinion, they grow out of it all too soon. So many people try to move their kids out of those years into adult speech, because they are worried about the funny little way of talking being permanent. Those years just fly by, and once they are gone, you wish you had recorded the way they spoke, or at least, written down some of it, so you could remember it. Whether your little one breathed her words, or couldn’t quite get the r’s or s’s or maybe t’s, or maybe you were like us…you had a little Texan on your hands. It doesn’t matter, it’s just sooooo cute!