Tonawanda News


September 1, 2010

Who knows what lurks in the hearts of big sisters?

NORTH TONAWANDA — I may not always be a fast learner, but I am becoming a quick study thanks to Rigby.

One of Penny’s favorite activities of late is to “jump” into your arms (she sometimes even manages to lift herself off her feet as she lunges into you). As I sat in the recliner one recent morning, she proclaimed, “I am going to JUMP right at you,” followed by the prophesied act.

Rigby, apparently amused by his sister’s actions, decided to plop himself into me, as well. Only I didn’t expect him to do so. I had my attention diverted toward Penny. I was setting her on the arm of the chair with my legs spread apart in a bit of a stretch, allowing the full force of Rigby’s cranium to crash right where you’d expect a 19-month-old boy’s head to collide with a grown man’s sitting body.

After that day, I am now ready for Rigby to emulate his sister’s actions most, if not all, of the time. She can’t take a bite of yogurt, play with the kids’ Toy Story figures or go to the potty without him mimicking her movements.

When it comes to her whereabouts and actions, like a toddler version of The Shadow, he always knows.

There’s nothing wrong with curiosity, mind you. He wonders what’s going on elsewhere in the house, and he’s afraid of getting left out of something (which makes me wonder how he’ll handle Penny’s first day of school in a few weeks, but that’s for another column). And Penny is most assuredly a people person, so she seldom minds the tag-along (she has, however, insisted that our next trip to Chuck E. Cheese be father/daughter only).

I can’t discourage this at all. In fact, it’s pretty darn cute to see how attached he’s become (not to mention the definition I’m getting my arms from always having to lift two toddlers at a time instead of just one). So no matter how tough that might make it to run a few evening errands (Penny demands to enter every store with me, which of course makes Rigby do likewise and leaves zero free hands for Dear Ol’ Dad), I shan’t stifle their mirth.

To be fair, that trait does go both ways sometimes. Penny gets a real charge when she and her brother wear matching shirts, and she won’t leave the second floor in the morning unless Rigby makes the wake-up trek downstairs, as well.

But, as independent as Rigby can be at times, he’s becoming more attached to big sis every day.

Penny gets a string cheese? Better have one for the Rigger Man, also.

Penny extracts amusement from throwing a stuffed bear? Pity the poor toy that rests next to Rigby, as he’ll release some of the warmest laughter ever heard before reaching for said toy and preparing it for launch.

Penny finds it funny that Rigby just injured Daddy with an illegal head butt? Seek cover before he tries again — which will happen quickly (almost too quickly for me to react, in fact).

Here’s to our two glorious babies swimmingly co-existing and sharing a laugh, with Penny never growing tired of her little shadow. And here’s to Dad investing in an ice pack before he next hangs out with them.

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