OPINION: My number one daughter is teaching her sisters more than expected

PUBLISHED: 08:44 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:44 11 August 2017

Sunny, Keola and Thalia. Picture: Jo Malone

Sunny, Keola and Thalia. Picture: Jo Malone


I always expected our girls would learn from one another but I had no idea about the kind of things they’d actually learn.

Sunny is nearly 10 years older than Keola, nine, and Thalia’s six, so she’s not exactly growing up with them.

We don’t really get the arguments about who goes to bed first, who sits in the front passenger seat or who gets the biggest spoon to lick out the cake mix bowl. Sunny saves her number one status for pulling rank when it really matters, like taking control of the TV remote.

I always imagined Sunny would teach her little sisters some of the important things in life: the stuff that they may not pick up from us.

Things like carrying off eclectic outfits with pride and arguing without resorting to name-calling or crying, plus a good sisterly dose of integrity, self-confidence and a thickish skin.

Sunny is doing a great job there, and she and Keola are a tight double act, whether they’re performing tricks on the trampoline, perfecting complicated Strictly Come Dancing-style lifts or racing through Pelmanism.

Sunny and Thalia have a natural affinity, possibly from being so similar. They have a complete inability to hurry up when we’re trying to leave, and infuriating indecision. It’s not that rare for them both to end up back in their pyjamas mid morning, on the same day, because they can’t decide what to wear.

The little ones are learning masses from Sunny: from packing a weekend bag to making fairy cakes and from how to put on make-up to how to stack the dishwasher. So I’m not sure why I’m surprised when Thalia starts flicking her hair and flouncing, and Keola starts rolling her eyes and sighing, or collapsing in fits of giggles as she suggests I “talk to the hand”.

And now strains of “We like to drink with Thalia because Thalia is our mate” fill the house. Sunny’s teaching them drinking games, with orange squash, saying it’ll give them a head start when they go to uni.

I guess she has a point. She usually does.

I decide it’s a sisterly thing and leave them to it.

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