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I’m not the only one who’s fond of mottos. My children all have their own, proud doctrines by which they live their lives. Our oldest has adhered to hers staunchly ever since, as a very determined 3 year old, she stamped her foot, put her hands on her hips and declared, ” I just want to do what I want, when I want to do it.”

 
You and me both, sister. Good luck with that.
 
Our second born is equally as clear in his life’s purpose. “Give me a dollar.” That’s his motto. He has fantasized about many a future career, only to discard them when he learns that he would actually have to start at the bottom of the employment ladder. No entry level for him, no sir! I’d try harder to help him realize that life is about more than money, except that he’s the one person who might actually be able to support me in my old age.
 
Twin number one’s attitude is best summed up with the phrase, “Love me.” Strong and athletic, she nevertheless is the most easily wounded of all five siblings. She’s the one who you secretly cheer on during those rare occasions she dares to talk back. Merely asking her to tell you the time causes her to dissolve into tears, on the off chance that she may be wrong…never mind that she’s been adept at reading the clock for over two years. A disapproving glance will have her sniffling for an entire afternoon. Her older sister tells us indignantly that it’s not fair that this particular sibling is NEVER grounded, which is true. We can barely bring ourselves to chastise her at all, not that we often need to. (note to eldest born: there’s a lesson in that…. ahem.)
 
And then there’s her twin…oh, yes. I’m not sure if on some deep, psychological level her vision problems may have contributed to this, but twin number two fairly sings out (literally) “Look at me! Look at me! Look at MEEEEEEE!” Think of the spirit of Liza Minnelli, stuffed into the body of a slight, extremely far-sighted Ethiopian girl. She is always daaancing and siiiiiinging…. It doesn’t matter if she has an audience or not; in her mind’s eye life is the Ziegfeld Follies and she is center stage. Life is Dramatic. Her chosen friends are Dramatic. We call her Drama for short, much to her (pretended) chagrin. I would tell you more, but I am rawthar exhausted just thinking about it.
 
And finally, (heavy sigh) we come to the youngest. For being so little, he sure puts up a heck of a fight. And why wouldn’t he? “You are not the boss of ME!” is the standard by which he lives his life. My sister thought that I was badmouthing her adorable little nephew until the day we were trying to watch a DVD together. Little mister bounded downstairs, took in the situation and then wrapped his tiny self around the tv screen. Nothing she or I said could persuade him to release his death grip on the set until I said, as sternly as I could muster, “Stay where you are! Don’t you DARE sit down!” Before you can say “Blueray” his butt was on the ground and he was grinning at me triumphantly, his arms crossed defiantly across his little chest. “Wooooah…” she said and whistled through her teeth, “you are in trouble.”
 
Don’t I know it.
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The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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