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We have never been great at sharing round The Mom’s, even as kids, or rather, especially as kids. If one of us got something the other two needed the same thing, right away, or a hideous screaming, shouting, punching and kicking match broke out. Unfortunately, The Mom decided in order to keep democracy afloat, or what passed for it in our single-parent household, that this rule must apply to all moments.

Thus, I, who is neither fond of cold nor of sports that require specialist foot gear, was forced to take figure skating lessons. The other two were also victims: they were thrown in a pool and learned to swim. If one of us wanted to go to Art Camp over the summer vacation, then by God, we were all going. One got a Cabbage Patch doll, and we all did. I don’t know if this was just because it was easier to get one thing and make all three of us do it, or due to some sort of twisted sense of fairness, but that’s what happened. In for a penny, in for a pound. In some ways, I suppose it was easier. Instead of rushing around town going to three separate sporting events, The Mom had need only to go to one complex with a large book and wait for whatever instruction was being provided to be over and done with.

Birthdays were, obviously, a bit trickier. Try explaining to two kids why they’re not getting presents and if you can do it while avoiding tears before bed then I would like to nominate you to head the peace process in the Middle East.

There were times, of course, when L’il Sis and I got the same thing and Crazy D was left out but it was okay because he didn’t really want a sundress anyhow. What used to irk me to no end was that I didn’t think it was cute to dress the same as my little sister. Not that she didn’t look fetching you understand, in the blue and white striped sundress and matching straw hat, just that I wanted no part in such an outfit, believing then, as I probably would still do now, that it was holding me back from greater things, namely a long jaunt in the forest building forts and getting up to dirty, mud-filled fun. But The Mom was ever so keen on having two lovely little girls who did little girl things. Or at least, that was the party line when Auntie was in town. She who had no girls and thus L’il Sis and I played stand-in.

I don’t remember what sort of bribery ensued for the other two when I was sent back to San Francisco on my own for the first time. Still too young to officially fly on my own (though, since having spent most of my formative years on an airplane was entirely comfortable with the process, much to the chagrin of my stewardess minders) I was deposited at the security gate and left under the control of the airline crew. Not only that, but I also spent two weeks back with our neighbours in California. I suspect that the other two were simply too young to kick up much of a fuss about matters. Though, eventually they too got shipped off on holiday alone at some point, Crazy D to Tennessee, and L’il Sis to somewhere else.

Which is all to say, of course, that The Mom is well-versed in the idea of all for one and one for all, as far as treats go. But dogs are not humans, as we have previously discussed, so I suppose in some ways Crazy D can be forgiven for getting only Mr Pants a bone treat. Besides, any acts of retribution stemming from The Pig will be more than sufficient to remind him that sharing is caring.

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