Beating Up Babies

My nieces are a couple of cuties

empirical beauties

Ellie is three and Emma will be two this February.

They’re the cutest kids you ever did see.

They can also be a holy terror when together.

I live life fairly carefree.

I’ve gone places and done things that would give my mother a heart attack

so I’ve never told her or anyone for fear that word would get back

of all my reckless adventures

like walking way out on the thin ice of Lake Erie even after my grandma had warned me

that the ice only looked thick

and I was thick and I fell straight through the ice

to my armpits

able to climb out of the frozen lake and slink back to shore

more afraid that my grandma was going to kill me.

I free climbed a mountain in Alaska without telling anyone where I was going or taking

anything with me other than my keys.

I zip-lined down from the Great Wall of China.

I live life without a net to catch me.

Now every time Emma walks up the stairs I’m right behind her

with both hands on her back.

I wonder if I overprotect her

but, she’s a year and a half so what are you going to do?

Her older sister, Ellie, is the only one who doesn’t coddle her.

Ellie can be downright cruel to her baby sister.

She’s quick to pull whatever Emma has in her hands away.

I’m quick to scold

“Don’t take things from Emma’s hands, Ellie, be nice to your little sister!”

I’ve noticed Emma’s started fighting back.

She’s using her arms and legs to pull back

digging her little feet into her big sister to get more strength in her arms.

The kid’s not such a pushover any more.

And I wonder if her sister’s the only one being truly sincere with her

teaching her to fight back.

Maybe baby Emma needs her big sister’s abuse

almost as much as she needs her love.

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