Jersey Girl at Heart

Jersey Girl at Heart
July 24
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JANUARY 4, 2012 2:20PM

For Baby Brothers and the Big Sisters Who Own Them

Rate: 27 Flag

When we learned that I was miraculously pregnant for the second time, we wondered how to begin broaching the subject with my daughter who was 3 1/2.  She ruled the household with an iron fist in a petite, velvet glove and I worried how she might view this invasion of her territory. 

As we were driving home from a play date with one of her friends who had a new baby sister, I delicately broached the subject, "Do you ever think that you would you like to have a brother or sister?"   

"No," she said succinctly, sucking on her juice box straw staring out the window.   

Taken aback, I tried again.  "Well, if you HAD to have a brother or sister, which would you like to have?"

(In hindsight, a stupid question as I had no control over which it might be but, hey that's what hindsight's for!)  

"Well," she sighed, humoring me as usual, "if I HAD to have one, I would like a big brother that can play games with me."   

Uh Oh, I thought to myself...maybe I better leave this conversation for her Dad! 

In it up to my neck, I bravely persisted, "Well, since you're already born, it would have to be a little baby brother or sister.  You would get to be the big sister." 

Disgusted by this revelation, she crinkled up her whole face and said, "I guess I would pick a little brother."   

I wasn't sure what I had accomplished in this first volley but I was to find out soon enough.  The next time I picked my daughter up from her playdate, my friend met me at the door and said, "I had nothing to do with it!" 

Uh Oh,  I thought to myself...what exactly might that mean? 

My tiny daughter with the serious brown eyes looked up at me and said, "The baby's name is Fisher." 

Oh how cute! I thought to myself with relief. 

When my husband got home from work that night, the daughter that just cleared his knee cap looked up at him and said, "The baby's name is Fisher." 

"Oh, how cute," my husband said as he picked her up and put her in her high chair for dinner.   

She looked at him sternly and said, "It is Daddy.  I know it."  


Uh Oh. 


It became less cute when she would angrily interrupt any discussion of name selections and repeat loudly and firmly as if we were addled or going deaf in some way that she just couldn't fathom, "THE BABY'S NAME IS FISHER!" 

We had no idea where this name came from...Fisher Price?  Jeremy Fisher?  Go Fish?? 

Finally, worried there might be some psychic connection that we shouldn't mess with, and to let her feel she was a part of the process - strongly recommended by some inane parenting book I read - we finally compromised, and the baby's middle name became Fisher.   


To this day, most people don't know his first name... 


...because he goes by Fisher. 


In his first days home, she asked that classic "when do we take him back" question.  I told her, "No, he's ours to keep.  He belongs to us." 

"Really?" she said, eyes opening wide in amazement.  "He belongs to ME?" 

Uh Oh.... "To US!" I said frantically. 

She was no longer listening to me as she skipped away with a big smile to gaze benevolently upon her newly acquired personal slave, pondering how best to raise a devout worshipper. 

She began to take great interest in his daily routines.  She would supervise all his needs and instruct me when I should feed him, what he was in the mood to eat, when he should go to bed, what clothes he should wear, and when he needed to be changed.

One of the first times she observed a diaper change, she pointed at his umbilical cord and asked what it was.  I explained that it was going to fall off soon and then he would have a belly button just like hers.  

She excitedly awaited the day his belly button would appear.  When it did, she did a little dance around the room. 

She ran back over to the changing table and pointed between his little legs.  "When does that fall off?"  she asked excitedly, wondering what additional miracle might be revealed. 

When I told her it wouldn't, she narrowed her eyes and in typical eldest child fashion said, "Then I want one."   

Our first discussion of the difference between little boys and girls ensued.  She wasn't satisfied.  Many months later, when she saw the convenience of being able to stand instead of sit on the potty, or the advantage of going behind a tree instead of having to run in the house, she would still demand one from time to time. 

One day when the kids were older, they had come in from playing in our wading pool and I had them take their wet things off on the porch. 

My daughter looked at her little brother and said, “I still wish I had a penis.  I wish I could pee standing up.   

He replied, “It’s not as easy as it looks.  You have to aim.   

Undeterred, she said, “I still wish I had one.

Exasperated, he said, “It’s not so easy to control a penis! 

Ah, have truer words ever been spoken? 

My daughter is now 14 and my son is 10.  This Christmas I was given the gift of really noticing that they are such good friends that it makes my heart ache in a good way when I see them laughing and hanging out together.  Even when they squabble, it's never mean.  They each just argue their point of view like the lawyers they might one day be. 

All in all, I think she's been a pretty awesome little brother owner.  She's certainly been the best boss I've ever had!    

Uh, Oh. 

I hear her calling me. 

Gotta Go!

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Oh this was so cute. I won't say which but one of my daughters figured out a way to pee standing up just like her brother. It didn't look very comfortable and didn't last long.
Thank you for the smiles. Wonderful story!
Fabulous! Your kids sound great. Good job, mom.
Sweet story. All told, I think you lucked out with the name.
Awesome and such true words.
What a great story and yes, I'm sure she knew the name Fisher was written in the stars... ~r
A fine lass. Great story, nice writing.
Wow! Thank you all for coming by I really appreciate the feedback!

Miquela - I am sure my daughter tried to figure it out...she would never deign to ask me to help her do such a thing!

Polly - Thanks for coming by!

Firechick - They are great kids! Thanks for commenting!

jlsathre - We did luck out with his name, and he likes being unique and that there is this great story around his naming!

Oryoki - Thanks so much!

Joan - It's hard for us to imagine any of our other choices fitting him so well! Thanks!

Scylla! So nice of you to come by and comment! It's always great to hear from you!!
Nice job. It's an adorable story--funny, warm and well-written. Sounds like a great household all-around.
Big sisters. . . .middle sisters. . . .sisters friends. . . . .
This is such a charming read! I was fortunate to have a big sister, and I remember being owned at a very young age. She did tell me about Elvis, and for doing that, I forgave her a long time ago.
Better than Bullseye...that's what my grandsons called their in utero bro. Great piece.
This is so good! "When does that fall off?" & "It's not so easy to control a penis!" Not much makes a parent (or grandparent, for that matter) happier than seeing the kids "laughing & hanging out together." It is the most amazing feeling! Wonderful essay, wonderful kids.
What a charming and delightful read. You sound like a great mom with great kids.
Wonderful memories and delightful read. My daughter and son are four months hsort of being three years apart and older than yours. We've gone through jealousies but today they are each other's best friend and confidant, although neither went into law. :o)

As the owner of a (formerly) baby brother, I very much appreciated this. Kudos to you!
Love this! I remember one day a few years ago when my youngest son (about 3 at the time) was home alone with me while his brother was at school and dad was at work. I asked him what he'd like to do while it was just us. He very matter of factly took my hand and said "well, I could teach you how to go potty standing up like the rest of us." Ha! I reminded him that mommies go sitting down because that's how they're guaranteed a rest every now and then.
Loved this! What a heartwarming story!
Thank you all for your comments! This was fun to write and I am glad that so many of you enjoyed it and shared a comment! Kids do say the darndest things!
Great tone in this piece. I really enjoyed it!
Very funny. I was an older sister who wanted to be a boy for a while. Now pregnant with my third, with two daughters. They like the names "Toothbrush Toothpaste" and "Superbaby". Go figure.
What a beautiful story. How lovely for you to have children so bright with promise. -R-
This is so sweet. She's a keeper, that gal of yours. When I talk to moms who have headstrong toddlers, I remind them that having a daughter with definite opinions will turn out to be a positive in the long run.
You have a good heart and I am sure things will always work out for you.