Hope (worried): Mommy, Rhema’s got my favorite Valentine’s card that Josiah made me!
Me: Well, she’s just holding it, Hope.
On cue, Rhema rips the heart off the front of the card and wipes her nose with it.
She prays for Rhema to have good days at school.
She attacks her with hugs.
They take baths together and Hope’s a real sport about fudge in the tub.
She cheers every time Rhema says a word or completes a puzzle.
She thinks she is smart and beautiful.
She always tries to protect her: “Mom, Rhema’s doing something dangerous!”
So once, a long time ago, Hope was going potty. Rhema, who does not have particularly strong convictions about using the toilet, showed up in the bathroom. Fidgeting.
In one quick motion, I yanked unsuspecting Hope off the seat and yelled,
Then I whipped Rhema’s pants down and plunked her on the potty. Both girls were rather startled. But Rhema went. And as soon as she was done, I returned Hope to the throne. One clean floor, two relieved girls, one slightly guilty mama.
But as I said, that was a long time ago.
The other day I came upstairs to find the girls standing in the bathroom, both with their pants around their ankles. Now Rhema seems to always be partially undressed – that’s nothing new. But Hope likes a little privacy in all her 4 year-old glory.
“What’s going on?” I demand.
Hope points as her sister settles onto the toilet. “I’m holdin’ it for Rhema!”
Hope is a good sister. I mean, a really good sister.