You see, today is Elsa's 19th birthday! (She made it to 19 with NO babies, YES!) In Kotzebue, you must be 19 to gamble at BINGO, and PULL TABS, so today, our entire family will go with her to Bingo! Hey, don't forget, we don't have much to do here, so what else would we do on a 19th birthday!? Bingo it is.
I remember when she was born. I was 13 years old and Saima was 8. My parents are those who are not impatient (like me) and didn't find out the sex of their babies until they were born. On May 21st, my mom and I went walking around town to help her to "drop" and make delivery easier. I think we walked too much.
At around 7 am, she woke up with some labor pains, and my dad woke us girls up, made us breakfast, and told us he'd be right back, as he was dropping her off at the hospital. I remember being excited, because we wanted a BROTHER. Saima and I made a pact to hate the baby if it was a girl. It was a deal.
Pops dropped momma off at the hospital and came back for us girls. We left to the hospital, and by the time we got there, they said she had a LITTLE GIRL! Kind of disgusted, me and Saima looked at each other and said, "Adii." Then we looked at my dad, who had just lost the rest of the hairs he had on his head (no, he didn't but if he was bald, we'd know why...) and had a pale expression showing the world what he thought about another GIRL!
Three girls. Ugh. I don't know how my parents survived.
Anyway, when she came home from the hospital, we were OK with the fact that she was a girl and not a cool little boy we could corrupt. My parents told us they were naming her, ALMA. Seriously, like a deep south circa 1942 name for your grandma, ALMA.
"Uh, no you're not."
So, instead of the pact to hate the girl-baby, we made another pact. Saima and I proudly walked downstairs and told my parents, "if you name her Alma, we will call her poop-head for the rest of her life." AND WE WERE SERIOUS!
I was more a fan of the name, "Tiffany, or Debbie" (Duh, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany...I think we're alone now!)
Saima wanted to name her after a dog.
So, Elsa she became! Elsa Ruth Argagiaq Johnson. MUCH better than Alma.
When she was a baby, Saima and I used to torment her, and tell her she was dumb. We told her that because she wasn't potty trained, that she was dumb. She always excitedly nodded her bald head and said, "yes!" We used cloth diapers on her, because my mom and dad were cool like that. Either that or they were just old fashioned. My dad doesn't believe in Huggies, or Luvs, or Pampers... Dang. She was potty trained at 20 months old.
So, Saima and I, we had to figure out something else to torment her about. So, we told her she was born with a tail, and we called her our Monkey Girl. She was born with what are called "Mongolian Spots" which are darker spots on her lower back, right above her bum. We told her they were bruises from when the doctor had to take off her tail. Once when she was fifteen, I overheard her telling one of her friends that she was born with a tail, and that she had bruises on her butt for years afterward, because the doctor had to remove it. FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Hadn't we EVER told her otherwise?! So I called Saima and asked if she had ever told Elsa that she was NOT in fact born with a tail... she said no. So I told her. No tail. She cried.
All that tormenting, and bullying, didn't negate the fact that both Saima and I thought she was the MOST BEAUTIFUL baby, and most beautiful little girl in the WORLD. We use to show her off to people, cause she was so pretty! Bald, but pretty!
When I was 18 I left. The hardest thing in my life, so far, was leaving my baby sister, when she was five. She didn't understand why I had to leave, and when I would be back. If I could have gotten away with kidnapping her, I probably would have. When I came home three years later, I had a baby with me. I was MUCH cooler than when I left!
She thinks she's all grown up. But she's still the baby.
She's all grown up now, but we still call her baby. And we still treat her like one. I don't think it will ever stop. We still torment her too. But...what are sisters for?! Aside for paying for stuff your real parents won't buy... Or wait, that's just me. I think I'll get her a duck for her birthday. A real live one, and we'll call it squirt JR. :) Its a family affair.
So...in a nutshell, I LOVE YOU Bald Monkey-Girl ELAMAE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You're my first "baby," so I'll give you ten more bucks to buy yourself another card at Bingo!
The twins are arriving TOMORROW! (Sans any crazy-ex-wife drama that is!) We are SO EXCITED. We have a birthday party planned for Monday with all their friends who can't wait to see them. Gramma's coming too, so its EVEN BETTER!