Sunday, December 26, 2010

Even Steven: Why I Got a Bike for my Sister's Birthday

Anyone with kids close in age, especially of the female persuasion, knows that you can't get a present for one without getting one for the other too. Preferably the exact same gift but maybe in a different color.

Because if one of the children gets a gift and the other one doesn't, a melt-down will happen approximately 98% of the time. (The other 2% of the time,  you might be able to distract the kid with candy or ice cream or something, but this is only if you are a very lucky type of person).

I knew this before I even became a parent because I was a child who had a melt-down on my sister's 9th birthday. Because she was getting a bike and I was getting nothing. Because it was her birthday, not mine. I remember being in the bicycle store with my family. I watched my sister pick out a shiny white 10 speed with an innocent and joyful smile. Hooray for the birthday girl! 

Covetousness filled my veins, encompassing my body, filling my entire being with the desire, no, the absolute NECESSITY to have my own bike too. As my sister chose her rightful present, I spotted a peach, Huffy dirt bike (it was the 80s). It beckoned coyly to me from the corner of the store, the fluorescent lights overhead reflecting off the mesmerizing, polished metal. Plastic streamers dangled alluringly from the gleaming handlebars. I had never seen anything so beautiful. I had never wanted anything like I wanted this bike.

I immediately burst into tears and tried to negotiate with my father. It could be my birthday present--an early birthday present--I slobbered with snot running down my face. Looking back, I know I was being completely sincere. I truly felt that I could just have a birthday present 6 months in advance and then not need anything else when my birthday finally rolled around. Maybe I could get advanced all my future birthday presents?

I must have been pathetic enough for my parents to take pity on me (or else I'm just a spoiled brat) because I  did get that perfect, wonderful, beautiful bike. Even though it was my sister's big day and not mine. Of course I got a birthday present later in the year as well. I'm sure I forgot all about my gift-advance by the time my birthday arrived.

Because of this experience I have always tried to be very even with siblings when giving gifts. Maybe it's because I have a deep sensitivity to how the children feel, or it could be a way to atone for my past childhood sins. Whatever the reason, I knitted my nieces nearly identical sweaters for Christmas.

 I loved knitting these, although the lace pattern was a challenge for me at first; I had to rip it out three times (that was a lot of wasted time!!!) before I got it right. The pattern is called Pink Orchard. I followed the pattern's colors for the first sweater and then changed them to raspberry and electric blue for my younger niece. It was fun to knit something girly for once. There are so many pretty patterns for girls. Boy clothing can sometimes be a little boring. I hope the girls like them, and I hope the sweaters fit ok.

The fit is not the important part though.  The important part is that they both have the same gift! Melt-down averted. Although I'd like to think that my nieces are above the sibling jealousy that plagued their aunt.


  1. Gorgeous sweaters!!! love 'em

  2. When they where them together, I will make sure to send you a picture as an update... plus I owe you the pics of your snowflakes. ;) - MK


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