Monday, February 25, 2013

Pecking Order

In the natural order of the universe the older siblings pick on the younger ones. Deana, the middle child, picked on Lynn, the baby. I picked on both.

I had a school girl crush on the neighbor boy who was as cute as he was ornery.  When I was about 12 and Lynn was 2, I convinced her to yell at the neighbor boy out the window, "Ronnie is an asshole."  Now, why my 12 year old self thought I should call the neighbor boy a name, especially when I liked him and thought he was cute, is a good question. Ronnie sprinted across the yard, opened our front door and started to chase Lynn through the house. I remember how she came running for me in her white high top Stride Rites hugging my knees for salvation.

Next to Ronnie lived Sherry who spent a lot of time at our house. For whatever reason, we decided to put dog kibble in Lynn's peanut butter sandwich and try to convince her that Mom made a mistake and bought crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy.  Lynn was about 4 or 5 at the time and was getting a little wiser to our evil tricks. She didn't eat it beyond the first bite. 

Then there was time I put a realistic looking hairy tarantula spider toy in her bed. I posed it so it was peeking out from under her pillow.  Her scream brought Dad running. They saw through my protest that I was innocent until proven guilty. "Me? ME?? What did I do?" 

I suppose the worst thing we did was to train our dog to attack Lynn.  Sister Deana was as guilty as I. Remember, the pecking order.  Now let me explain the dog was no serious physical threat. She was an 8 pound fluff ball named Candy, as in cotton candy. She was, by all reports, the craziest neurotic dog we ever owned. She did weird things like pee on the blankets we kept on the sofa in the basement. We always had to do the sniff test before using them. She hated thunderstorms, fire crackers, cars that backfired, or being left alone, and could destroy an entire house in a matter of minutes if pestered by any of these things. Deana and I decided we would train Candy to attack Lynn.  Pointing at Lynn, we would sizzle our s's while commanding the dog, "Ssssick 'em" over and over again.  Especially if Lynn was up the steps trying to come down. And the dog would actually park herself at the bottom of the steps laying in wait for Lynn to bravely take one step. That dog would chase her back up the steps and sometimes attack the socks on Lynn's feet. Lynn would always claim that she was 16 years old before she owned a pair of socks without holes from Candy attacks. 

It may seem kind of weird that this how I share my memories of Lynn today on the 3rd anniversary of losing my baby sister. But we did a lot of wonderful things together. I used to pull her around the neighborhood in a red wagon. I taught her how to ride a bike.  I took her to the park. I filled her backyard pool and chased her with a hose on hot days. I pushed her on the swing and we played in the sandbox. In the years following during family gatherings, it was always funnier to recount the awful things we did to her. I sure wish she was here so we could pick on her some more. You'll always be the baby, Lynn, and, therefore, at the bottom of the pecking order. I love Lynnie, the Pooh.


  1. Ah, yes. The pecking order. I'm also the eldest and sometimes I cringe at the things we did to the youngest. Though it sure was fun at the

    RIP, Lynn.

    1. I cringe sometimes, but it was fun too. Lynn took it all and well, and she had a good nature and a wicked sense of humor. Thank you, Barb.

  2. What a beautiful post. <3 I am so sorry for your loss.

    1. Thanks, Emily. I don't think it gets better with time.