My sister and I don’t use the word “Aunt” in our family, we prefer “Queenie.” When our kids were born, (well my kid, ’cause my sister was “waiting”), we were trying to decide what our son should call her. “Aunt” just seemed so meaningless to us – it seemed every friend wound up being “Auntie” to every friend’s child. We needed something more significant, my sister said, there has to be something better, something that says I am the Queen of all Aunts, and so it happened, she was dubbed “Queenie.” After what seemed like an eternity, my sister and her husband finally got their act together *nudge nudge*. Of course, the dilemma started once again as we eagerly awaited the arrival of my sister’s baby. We hemmed and hawed, but eventually it was decided, if Queenie was good enough for her, then it was good enough for me. And so, the coronation of a second Queenie. The years go on, my sister was “kunga” and then “mommy kunga” to the boy before he could say Queenie. I was “nee nee” to the girl, until I could be Queenie. More time passes. I often hear “You are my mommy” (aimed at me), from the spawn of my sister. Of course, I am secretly satisfied by this statement, and
often encourage it on the sly tell her she shouldn’t say it. More years…..The boy and the girl love each other. My sister and I are basically attached at the hip, well not really, but it is a little like we share a brain. It is uncanny how we finish each other’s sentences and just need to look at each other to know what the other is thinking. Because we basically only need each other (don’t tell our husbands), we decided to raise our “onlys” like siblings. They know each other like no one else. This is not a typical sibling arrangement because they don’t have to share their parents. At the end of the night, they each have their own mommy to lay in bed with them and read them stories. So during the day they only have to kill each other once or twice don’t have to kill each other. Their relationship is truly special; he loves her so much. Their Her favorite game is “Husband and Wife.” He is very tolerant of this game. This is because she doesn’t care if her husband is a bank robber, or a policeman, or a gun-powder salesman, just as long as she can come along for the ride. Not so much Bonnie and Clyde as June Cleaver and Clyde. This was their first real wedding: Of course there were many other subsequent weddings. For a while the game could not begin without a wedding. Once again, the boy was very tolerant, adorning costumes, and he didn’t mind as long as she did not get in the way of his wardrobe choices.
However lately, thing have begun to go south. It seems their relationship has hit a rocky point, now that he is almost 8 and she is almost 5. The wedding is no longer a necessity, she just needs to flip the switch (“flitch the flitch” in boyspeak) for them to be married.
A typical scenario in a game of Bank Robber:
He will say, “Now take this money and run before the cops get here.”
Her response? “Okay, sweetie.”
He doesn’t stop his furtive gathering of objects as he says, “Josie, please stop calling me Sweetie: I am not your husband.”
Without missing a beat, she says “I know, Dear, it’s okay.”
He stops and looks at her. “Josie,” he says in a low growl,”we are not married. Please stop calling me that!”
Once again in her ever composed and totally chipper June Cleaver voice, she says “I know Sweetie, we are Husband and Wife, we just don’t have any babies yet, so we’re not married!”
One look and I know he’s going to explode. However we have a system worked out, I tilt my head, raise my eyebrows and nod once. He turns to her and says. “Okay Josie, we can be married.”
Everyone’s happy – except those presumably who are being robbed by June and Clyde.
Oh and by the way, incase you are wondering if maybe she is my real daughter, check out these crazy eyes. No one else has crazy eyes like this, except for me. ‘Nuff said. A beautiful song about sibling rivalry, oh wait, it isn’t? Right….June Cleaver and Clyde.
You know you love this song, if you need to own it click the link. It’ll take you straight to iTunes. Take the Money and Run – Greatest Hits 1974-78
This post was previously published April 18, 2013