Today is my niece Jessi’s 27th birthday, and while she is all grown up now, and a pleasure to be around, her birthday brings to mind an incident that happened when she was a very little girl. As you know, when children are little, their world pretty much revolves around the adults around them…especially before siblings begin to come on the scene. Jessi was the oldest of my sister, Allyn and her husband, Chris’ 4 children. The did not live near family at that time, and so she wasn’t even around cousins.

The terrible twos soon arrived, and while she had a brother, Ryan by that time, he was too little to cause much trouble. As you all know the terrible twos is a rough time in any parent’s life. The days are often filled with all the little no nos and hand slaps, as a child is trained on what is and is not allowed. This is not a pleasant time for anyone, and most parents find themselves looking forward to the future, while wondering why no one told them about all this before they had a second child.

Sometimes, after so much negative reinforcement, a little joking around with your child can make those difficult moments a little lighter. Allyn always had a way of joking around with her kids that was different from what most parents would do. She would call them cute little nicknames, like Squirrel, which was the endearing term she would give her daughter, Lindsay later on in life. She would also make up little songs and funny sayings to lighten the mood. One thing she always said to her little Jessi when she would try to usurp her authority is, “I’m the mom!!” To which Jessi would answer, “No, I’n da mom!!” As this little argument proceeded, my sister said, pointing at Jessi, “Don’t you ever say I’m the mom!!” Laughing, of course. At that point, little Jessi came right back…pointing her little finger high above her head at her mom and said, “Don’t you EBBER!!”

Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, the argument was over, as my sister dissolved into giggles and laughter. Jessi has grown into a wonderful young lady, who is always a joy, but still very much a jokester! Happy birthday Jessi!! I love you very much…but don’t you EBBER!!

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