Except When They Don’t.
So We Made a List For That!

CHK sisters rock

Recently Gaga complained to me that Diddy likes to read to EVERYBODY but her.

The thing is, she’s right. This year, Diddy went UPSTAIRS to the elementary school while Gaga stayed DOWNSTAIRS in the preschool, and it drove a little bit of big-kid/little-kid wedge between them where there hadn’t really been one before.

Before, they had a pretty typical little-sister/big-sister vibe, with Gaga loving her Diddy A BILLION PERCENT and chasing after her and imitating her and grooving on her all day long, and Diddy putting up with it about 40% of the time and the rest of the time doing everything she could to shake her Gaga shadow.

I figured I’d try to stay out of it – I know how sisters go, and it’s a bumpy ride up and down the love/hate spectrum on the way to WOOHOO SISTERHOOD! – but Diddy’s refusal to read to Gaga REALLY UPSETS my Gaga, who can’t help but notice, uhh …

CHK no gagas

… Diddy’s got no problem reading to the boys.

So last week at Family Meeting we started talking about how Gaga was sad that Diddy didn’t want to read with her –


We talked about how it made us feel, when our friends excluded us.

We talked about how Diddy and Gaga would be sisters forever, how they were a team against the world for the rest of their lives.

We talked about how Diddy just wanted a little privacy.

We talked about how Gaga just wanted to hang out a little bit more with her big sister —


Now, I’m a big sister. I totally get where Diddy is coming from.

But I’m also Gaga’s MOTHER, so obviously I see her point too.

And I think most talk about most things is pretty damn cheap.


So I told Diddy to make a list of things she actually LIKES doing with Gaga.

Here’s what Diddy came up with:

  • Making tents
  • Making big messes that she cleans up
  • When she helps me up the stairs
  • Going on the monkey bars
  • Playing restaurant
  • Making up stories while Gaga watches … she loves my stories
  • When she helps me hit a piñata so the treats can come out
  • Doing climbing walls together
  • Playing on the iPad together

Then I had Gaga do it. She said:

  • When she reads to me
  • When she climbs big rocks with me
  • When we swing together and go on the monkey bars
  • When we play on phones
  • When we play on the iPad

At which point Diddy said:

 I like to do a lot of things with Gaga that I didn’t know! I thought I hated Gaga, but I really love her!

Seriously, folks?

Is there ANYTHING a list can’t do?

My New “Parent Trap” Stealth-Literacy Plan

So, it’s spring break out here in LA, as well as Passover and Easter, and this year I did something I have never done before and DIDN’T enroll my kids in any sort of Spring Camp, reasoning that a) it wouldn’t be the worst thing to NOT spend that money and b) this is a very cool town and there was no reason I couldn’t entertain my kids just fine on my own.

This was a mostly okay plan. We’ve taken family trips to The Hollywood Farmer’s Market and a couple of garden centers (MrBigIdeas is obsessed with our urban farm); Descanso Gardens; LACMA; and checked out the Endeavor at the LA Science Center, which was pretty awesome. We’ve been swimming, and  the girls are getting better on their bikes … around the time of their Bat Mitzvahs they might even be able to take off their training wheels.

The first of MANY MANY garden center stops MrBigIdeas has dragged us on this vacation.

Descanso Gardens: It would have been a bit too much to ask for all four kids to smile.

The only real staycation disaster we’ve had was the hellish three days I was killing myself cooking for Passover. (more…)

Sarah Kate Levy

Once upon a time I wanted to be a novelist in NY. FOUR KIDS LATER I'm a
screenwriter in LA who blogs about parenting, partnering, and the decline of civilization / my home.

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