Bell and Mia are like oil and water. They love each other, I’m sure, but would just assume that the other didn’t necessarily reside in the same house. Their relationship is made of peaks and valleys. There are generally three peaks during the year-each other’s birthday and my birthday. On those days, they dig deep to find enough self-control to be kind to each other as a gift to one another and to me. The valleys are much more frequent and usually occur on days that end in ‘day’.
For some reason, the before- school-morning- bathroom- routine is a trigger for hot tempered insult hurling between the two of them. The simplest task, say, brushing their teeth while standing next to each other, often ends in crocodile tears, red faced anger and foamy toothpaste flying from their mouths while they try to be the loudest and fastest to explain to me why the other is the greatest asshole in all the world.
I have asked them to avoid being in the bathroom together in the mornings but sometimes our time management sucks and it’s inevitable. It was on one of those mornings that this exchange occurred:
Bell (to Mia who was stepping out of the shower): “Your butt jiggles.”
Mia: “Shut up. No it doesn’t.”
Bell: “I won’t shut up and yes it does.”
Mia: “Well, you have giant bunny teeth and nobody sees my butt.”
Bell: “I see your butt and I know it jiggles. And I don’t have bunny teeth…Mom says I’ll grow into them.”
Mia: “Well you should stop talking and smiling until that happens. Plus, you’re being mean to Mom when you say my butt jiggles ’cause hers does too.”
I’d say Mia won that insult throw down. Her snarky comeback coupled with a skillful and strategic mention of our apparent flabby butt solidarity left me feeling proud AND humiliated. Those are two feelings that don’t often go together- it’s a weird combination and I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with it.