Sunday, January 10, 2010


Sometimes I worry that Alison is going to be one of those self-centered only children who think they're the focus of the world and that everything should stop when they need something.

I can't count how many times people have advised me that I should have another one to stave off the "only child syndrome. For the record, if it was that easy, yeah, we'd have had another. It wasn't. Leave me alone. We're just find thank you very much.

Alison isn't really suffering anyway because she has pseudo siblings in the Ogdens and the Tokashes. And I'm grateful every day that Karin and Amy let us share.

I teased Alex Friday night that I considered him my almost son and Ali's almost brother. He'd been telling me about a club he's joined called Brothers from Other Mothers. It sounds a little crazy New Age hippy stuff, but really it's a bunch of boys who are around the same age and are buddies. Kind of like the Boy Scouts but with moms instead of dads.......Why? I don't know. I just know it exists and gave me reason to tell Alex that he was like a son/brother to us.

This set him and Ali down a path of deciding that he'd spend a year living with us and then a year with his own Mom. He thought he'd probably miss his mom too much so he thought he'd go month to month. It was funny.

Anyway, after a hilarious Friday night/Saturday morning with Alex, Ali got to spend Saturday afternoon/Sunday morning with Jenna and Drew.

After a quick movie with me, I got the girls to Amy's around 3 or so. They disappeared immediately and I was off. Here's the highlight of the sleepover, courtesy of Ms. Tokash:

After spending time hanging out in the basement entertaining themselves, the girls decided to see what was going on upstairs. Drew had been happily watching football in a giggling girl-free zone.

The Tokash home is a racing, hockey, fishing, any sport with a ball kind of home. They never miss the Colts, and most of the games/events on the big screen attract the whole family. At our house, Ali and I are fair weather sports fans. We'll stay in the room to watch baseball or football with Jeff -- for a little while -- but we don't really pay attention.

At Team Tokash, Jenna's been so exposed to it so often, that she's at least familiar with terms like downs and passing. She plays that game where one person holds their fingers up like goal posts and someone flicks a ball through. But she doesn't really pay attention either. More than Ali and I, for sure, but she couldn't call a game or anything.

Drew, on the other hand, is his father's son. He's 10, a veteran of the Little League and a curren hockey All Star. He cheers. He groans. He does everything but spit and curse the men in stripes. He's served the longest tour of duty as Alison's brother by another mother, and he's endured countless hours of Ali and Jenna.

They torment each other -- not the point of near death like I suffered as a kid from my real-life siblings (say it with me: 7 is too many) -- but to them, it's still torture.

Anyway, after staying out of everyone's way with their squeals and dance moves, the girls invade the family room where the NFL playoffs are on the big screen.

"Hey, Drew who do you want to win, the Jets or the Tigers?" Ali asked, making an effort.

"They're not Tigers, they're Bengals," he replied.

"Well they look like tigers to me," she asserts. (Those glasses are helping...)

"Well, I know," Drew says patiently. He is 10, after all; the girls are just 8. He likes Ali. "But they're Bengals, and Bengals are kind of a tiger."

Either Drew didn't follow the National Geographic Kids definition of what a Bengal tiger is or Alison just wasn't on her, um, game, but she didn't quite understand. And she kept pressing home her point that they were orange and striped so they must be tigers. After about 10 minutes, Drew was just done with the whole thing.

So Jenna chimed in "What's a Bengal?"

"I told you! Bengals are kind of a tiger," he exploded. "Can I just watch the game? What are you guys doing up here anyway?

I'm not sure how Amy got them out of there, but it likely involved the great equalizer: food.

The next morning, Drew had a hockey game and the girls were outside. Amy noticed that Alison was in the snow without her hat and yelled at her to put it back on. (She's still crowing about last week's frigid bike ride and her better mothering skills.)

"Um. I can't Miss Amy. We filled my hat full of snowballs so we can pelt Drew when he gets home."

I think she's all set on the sibling front.

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