I forgot Camille, my two-year old, had migrated into our room in the middle of the night so I accidentally awoke her when I barged into my room for an early morning fitness session one morning last week. She was clad in white fleece pj’s and her tousled hair was sticking out in every direction and her head wasn’t even off the pillow before she started talking.
“Where’s Dad? Makin’ the coffee?” she asked, pulling wispy strands between knotted fingers.
I noticed her cheeks were flushed red from the double layer of fleece that she slept under.
“No,” I told her. “He’s with Patrick.”
“Oh, teaching Maf?” she asked.
“Yes, Dad’s teaching Patrick Math.”
I picked her up from the crib and asked her if she wanted to lay in my bed while I ran on the tread mill.
“Sh-ore,” she said, so I stacked some pillows under her head and tucked her petite body under my fluffy white down comforter. The only visible portion of her were her round cheeks and while I ran, she occasionally asked me a question like ‘Whatcha doin?” or “What’s that thing called?” Mostly, though, she lay silently watching me. Right around the time I broke a sweat, Christopher, my four-year old, climbed out of his own bed and joined Millie in mine. Maybe she wanted the bed to herself or maybe she wanted me to herself, I don’t know…
…but I do know Camille wasn’t pleased Topher crashed the party.
My three girls have an impressive ability to torture their male siblings without extravagant effort. They have mastered the art of pushing their older brothers’ invisible, but large red buttons and winning every time. If Christopher thought he was going to cuddle with Camille in my bed, he thought wrong. She was going to have none of that, but she wasn’t going to use physical force or unkind speech to get her way, either. She didn’t hit him or pull his hair or scratch his cheeks. She didn’t call him bad names or scream but she ingeniously managed to torture him all the same.
Death by glare.
She turned her eyes, which were previously fastened on my athletic prowess, and focused them on the side of her brother’s face. Then, she proceeded to stare at him, her cold eyes penetrating his skin, until he finally noticed.
Have you ever had someone stare at you for a long period of time?
It’s unsettling and if done correctly, it can make you crazy. And Millie’s intense glare made Christopher C-R-A-Z-Y.
“Mille, stop wooking at me. Stop wooking at me, Camille,” he whined.
She said nothing but kept her eyes fixed. Christopher’s pleas got louder.
“Camille! I don’t want you wooking at me,” he yelled.
She still didn’t respond in anyway, except with her eyes. She kept staring. Christopher, tortured by her gaze, started writhing in brotherly agony. He kicked his legs and thrashed his arms all over the bed, screaming the entire time,
“Please!!!! Please quit wooking at me!”
In a last ditch effort, he turned to me.
“Moooooooom, Camille is wooking at me! Tell her to stop wooking at me!”
“It’s a free country, Topher,” I panted, hoping I wasn’t going to have to get off the tread mill to resolve this situation.
“Camille can look at you.” Still, because I knew Camille wasn’t exactly innocent, I warned her for good measure.
“Millie, quit staring at your brother.”
She turned her face from Christopher’s to mine, shrugged her shoulders innocently, and then settled her eyes back on Christopher.
“Nooooooooooo,” he cried. “She’s doing it again! Nooooooooooooo! Not again!”
Still, she stared.
And stared some more.
She eventually took the Win. Unable to stand it anymore, Christopher got up from the bed and ran screaming out of the room. Millie and I watched him go and after he was out, I looked back at Camille, who was silently clapping her hands and fluffing her pillows, settling in for her long winter’s rest.
Copyright 2013 Colleen Duggan