Seated cozily in the La-Z-Boy, the tick tock of her grandfather’s cuckoo clock the only sound distributing the peaceful air on the snowy Saturday afternoon, she sighed heavily.
Those girls have been too quiet lately. The house is too quiet. The girls had not made a peep all morning. I hate to get up but I better go see what mischief they are up to now. They’ve been too good, ever since December when I got them those two bunnies because they nagged and nagged and finally wore me down. And now both rabbits are gone; caught some sort of disease. First the male went, and then the female. You couldn’t call Gertrude a Black Widow since the rabbit had been brown. They’re buried in the garden under the tulips. The twins even had a wedding ceremony for them; with the help of my brother. And him a minister! Sometimes I think he is just as much a child as the twins are.
She raised herself from the comfortable warmth of the chair, rinsed out her coffee cup and very softly climbed upstairs. The mother of seven year old twins had to learn to be quiet. She had perfected this skill as an art.
Peeking into their bedroom, she watched. They were scrawled on their stomachs on one of the beds, blonde curly heads close together, the curls from one girl dancing next to the curls of her sister, giggling and pointing at a book on the bed.
“Look”, said Merta flipping some pages in the book, “We could buy a video of Love Bites by Def Leppard. I double dog dare you to ask Mamma if we could get it.”
Gilda scornfully glared at her sister. “Now I know you are just testing me. Mamma would not allow us to get that and you don’t even want it. So stop playing games!”
Merta, the more authoritative one, pointed decisively at something in the book and said, “This one”. Their mother knew which twin was which even though they were identical in looks, though not in temperament.
Gilda determinately said, “No, I don’t like that one”.
Finally curiosity getting the better of her, their mother made her presence known and asked, “What are you two looking at?” Her heavy German accent sometimes embarrassed the children but that was the way she spoke and it wasn’t going to change.
“Oh Mamma, we are looking at spring Easter dresses in the Sears catalogue.” Merta patiently explained. Since they lived in the country, catalogue shopping was a fact of life. Any decent shopping was an hour’s drive away.
“Yes” said Gilda. “We need new dresses for Church at Easter. Babel, a girl in our class, always has the most b e a u tiful dresses at Easter. Our clothes are so old fashioned. We want pretty dresses like she has.”
Their mother noticed the tone of assertiveness in her younger daughter’s voice (younger by 2 minutes). If Gilda was so set on new dresses then it must be something she really wanted. Rather like the rabbit incident when it was Gilda who was as adamant as her sister in asking for a pet rabbit.
She was surprised and pleased to hear the confidence in Gilda’s voice. She had also heard the Love bites exchange between the two. It’s about time Gilda learned to stand up for herself and not be bossed around by Merta. Until recently Gilda had been her sister’s echo.
She moved closer to see exactly what they were pointing to in the catalogue. The picture Merta had her small index finger on showed a blue, silky dress with no sleeves.
“You girls are much too young to wear a sleeveless dress for Easter. You will have to find another, and it must be a price I can pay.”
Gilda snapped the book from her sister, and flipping to another page, she piped up, “Oh Mamma how about this one? I looove this dress!”
The photo showed a cotton dress, with roses softly patterned throughout on a pink background, and it did seem quite dainty. It even had sleeves. Peeking over her bifocals, she noticed the reasonable price.
“Oh Mamma, pink is for babies!” Merta blurted, “I don’t want a pink dress!”
Gilda looked up and calmly said, “Well it comes in blue too ya know Merta.”
My, my, her little girl was learning how to stand up to her sister. She was delighted as she hated to see Merta always bossing her younger sister (by 2 minutes) around.
“Actually, look girls, it comes in green too. Green would be better than pink with your colouring, Gilda.
“Oh yes” Gilda agreed. “It is a pretty green colour.”
Tossing a deadly stare at Gilda, Merta knew she had lost the argument for the blue, silky dress. The dress picked by Gilda was kinda pretty and it did come in blue. She would give in, but next time….
“Well, girls, go wash your hands and come downstairs. It’s almost lunch time. I can call Sears and order the dresses. Easter will be here before we know it.”
Merta crawled off the bed.. As her feet hit the floor she said teasingly, “Oh, Mamma, what about an Easter bonnet too?” The playful gleam in her eyes told her mother that she knew she was teasing. Her smile said she knew she would not get anywhere on the subject. And her mother’s warning glare confirmed it. But, hey, never hurts to try eh?
Hans and Gertrude get married
Blogophilia 52.3 Topic: “Love Bites“
(Hard, 2pts): incorporate Black Widow
(Easy, 1pt) : use the phrase Double Dog Dare