And then, she was a horrible brat of a little sister – so, you know, typical

My own mother would tell how sometimes, she’d come home to us five kids, and someone would announce that no one got hurt and we cleaned it all up. Somehow our soothing teen words of assurance would make her want to turn around and leave.

Needless to say, now that I’m the mother, I am braced for whatever greets me on the other side of the door. Or sometimes, not even the door. I once pulled up to find our microwave in the driveway. Someone went to cook a frozen burrito, hit an extra zero, and fifteen minutes later, the burrito was in flames. Sixteen minutes later, my husband put the microwave in the driveway to air out.

So really, my standards are high…or low, depending on how you view it. We parental units leave the house expecting to come home to something new.

Friday night was no exception.

Josh and I went out to see Miriam perform in a play. Collin was at work. Sean was left in charge of Maura. I may have said “Good luck, she’s really ON today.” Which means at one point, I looked out the window and she was attempting to be a trapeze artist off the structure around the non-working jacuzzi in our yard. I ran past one of the teens already yelling “No no no!” before getting to the back door and telling Maura to NOT DO THAT.

The day before, Sean had alerted me to the fact that, while I answered a text, Maura poured herself a bowl of gummy vitamin D’s that hadn’t been put away properly (yeah, we now have a safe with a pin code for medicines and such, because Maura.) (She didn’t have time to eat any really.) (It’s really hard to OD on Vitamin D.) (We’re probably all deficient anyway here in the PNW.)

So Sean knew the drill. Hang out in the same room as Maura, don’t turn your back or she might be juggling knives and torches.

He went to his room (which is seriously only about ten feet away from where she was sitting watching tv.) He got his laptop. He came back out to the living/dining area and set up watch.

A few minutes later, the neighbor knocks on the door…holding the tiny dog. Who somehow got out. We’re still not sure how and the theory is that Maura may have let the tiny dog out the front door in the two minutes Sean was gone from the room. (Mental note – start utilizing the door alarm more.)

Sean – still being the responsible one – thought maybe the tiny dog found a tiny opening in the fence, so went out back to check for any new gaps or holes. Because he was doing the right thing.

Maura decided to shut the back door on him…and then locked it.

Then mocked her brother through the door when he asked her to unlock it and walked away.

Because she is a little sister, and sometimes, little sisters are horrible.

Now, we’ve Maura-proofed the yard. Which means it’s kind of hard to get out of. One gate has a lock on it. The other has a cement cinder block in front of it so it can’t be pushed open easily. The fence is high enough that you can’t easily scale it. Luckily, Sean is resourceful enough to figure out how to move the cinder block from the other side of the gate and eventually get it open, and go around to the front door – which was unlocked.

It was as if Maura planned this elaborate ruse to torture her brother. Because little sisters are awful like that. I can admit it. I was a little sister. I still am. I also have a little sister. I know how we work.

The next morning, I looked at Maura. “Did you lock Sean out of the house?”

“No.” she said….and one moment later…a grin spread across her face.


Sean did not get in trouble. Not one iota. Because it could have been any of us. Thank God it wasn’t me, because I couldn’t have reached over the fence to move the cinder block like he did. And when Maura’s on her game like she’s been the past few days, she’s a force to be reckoned with. As Josh and I laughed over her smirking after lying to us about locking Sean out, Josh once again pointed out “Wow, she is on this week.”

“Maybe it’s all the extra Vitamin D she took.” I said.

It’s a good thing Maura likes us.

Maura and the tiny dog
Maura and the tiny dog.”Hey, I have a plan…”