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Sister Sarah's Goin' Down

Possibly down the garbage disposal next time. Perhaps I'll tie her imaginary keister to a helium balloon and let Laylee watch her sail off into the sunset...to be burnt to a crisp by the solar rays of death.

Sister Sarah
"Sarah made me do it"

Several months ago Laylee announced that she had a new sister named Sarah. Either epidural technology has come a long way in the last two years, Dan has a secret he'd like to tell me, or Sister Sarah is a product of a brilliant young imagination at work.

"How cute!" I thought. Maybe Sarah will keep Laylee occupied for a few hours while I paint my toenails and watch them dry. Perhaps Sarah will teach Laylee to clean up after herself or possibly to make dinner or manufacture widgets.

For the first few months, Sarah was a delight to have around the house. She played quietly with Laylee and rarely did anything to cause alarm. But at some point things changed.

"Mom. Sarah's really mad at you."

"Okay."

"She's punching and kicking you and she won't stop."

"That's too bad."

"She should never, never do that. You have to stop her."

Sometimes I would go through the charade of disciplining Sarah, but more often I would inform Laylee that since Sarah was imaginary and since Laylee created her, it was Laylee's responsibility to control her.

Sarah's newest trick has been to scream and sing loudly into the baby monitor at night, keeping Laylee awake and keeping me far away from my happy place.

Laylee comes upstairs and reports the atrocities going on in her bedroom:

"Mom. I can't sleep because Sarah's talking so loud and hitting and poking me."

"Well you'd better tell her to cut it out."

"I tried but she only listens to grownups."

"Sarah thinks you're a grownup so if you tell her to be quiet and stop beating the cheese out of you, I bet she will."

"NOOOO, she wooon't. She never listens to me and it hurts really BAAAAADDD!"

I didn't mind so much when Sarah would abuse me. I'm tough. I can take a lickin' from someone who doesn't exist and pretty much carry on with my life. But mess with my kid and so help me, I'll rough you up, little sister.

Convincing Laylee that imaginary people can be easily controlled does not seem to be working, so I decide it's time for Sarah to be tossed to the curb.

I remember a story about my older sister having an imaginary dragon when she was a little younger than Laylee. She would stand at the window for hours and talk to her friend. Then one night my dad decided to give her a hard time by asking, "Dragon? What dragon? I don't see any dragon."

Heather stared out into the front yard confused and asked, "Where'd he go dragon?" and never referred to him again.

Counting on my own parental powers to slaughter the imaginary creations of my offspring, I ask Laylee to show me exactly where Sarah is standing. She does. I walk over, pick Sarah up by her right elbow, and carry her to the back door.

"I will not tolerate this behavior anymore Sarah. I am throwing you out and you can never come back. You are not welcome in this home."

I toss her butt out into the yard and close and lock the door.

Laylee is wide-eyed, a huge grin on her face. "Oh man! Now I have 7 more sisters — but these ones are all nice."

What the —? Sarah was nice in the beginning too. What happens when these chicas suddenly go crazy and turn into the screeching spawn of Lucifer?

With seven more imaginary sisters to deal with, I need to come up with seven more ways to dispose of them. Perhaps I could look to the Bible for inspiration. Maybe I'll sell one of them into slavery, forbid a couple of them from eating some cookies I know they'll get into anyway and then send them packing. I could throw one into a lion's den, or beta fish bowl, and know she wouldn't stand a chance without angelic intervention.

Maybe I could just send them all to wander in the forest behind our house for 40 years. Hopefully when they return — during Laylee's midlife — she won't still be living with me.

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