On Wednesday, my little man came into the kitchen and announced, "Mom! I just cleaned the whole bathroom floor and the toilet with this!" You know how sometimes your kids say things and that part of your brain that is able to give them a semi-sufficient response answers, while the rest of you stays focused on whatever task was interrupted? Well, not this time. With that statement he had my whole undivided attention. My head snapped up to see the item in question and I saw his big sister's pink and purple toothbrush as he wielded it proudly above his head. Two thoughts formed: "Thank goodness he TOLD me and didn't just put it back in the drawer." AND "Huh. The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree."
Rewind about thirty years. Little Nancy was enjoying a carefree summer afternoon when she became aware of an atrocity in her very own backyard. Nellie, our gentle, sorrel mare had YELLOW TEETH. Not on my watch! I marched into the house in search of dental care. As I looked at the assortment, only one rational thought surfaced, "Not mine." Otherwise, it didn't really matter to me. I picked a fine looking brush and marched right back to where I had left poor, neglected Nellie. I did my best and was very persistent despite Nellie's lack of enthusiasm with the chore. And when it was over, I did what I had been taught to do, and "put my things away where I had found them". That evening I entered the bathroom to brush my teeth, and already standing at the counter was my dad and, sure enough, thoroughly scrubbing her molars with THE toothbrush, my teenage sister. I swear on my life to you that the next words to come out of my mouth were said with ZERO malice and genuine excitement. "HEY! That's the toothbrush I used to brush Nellie's teeth!" The next few minutes were full of spitting and swishing and yelling and possibly a little cursing, as well as suppressed laughter. (How Dad held it in, I'll never know!)
I think I might be risking an estrangement with my sister by bringing this story up all these years later. Or maybe the statute of limitations has expired on "rotton little sister pranks". (Again, I swear my innocence regarding intent!) Either way I feel that given the events of this week I can now be granted a complete and absolute pardon for my actions because obviously it's hereditary. And you can't fight good genes!