My cousin Lauren and I are 6 months a part, so you know what this means. We grew up wearing the exact same outfits, getting the exact same Christmas presents, eating and drinking the exact same things- you’d have thought we were twins, but no. We were just the first babies of the family and I think our parents and grandparents may have gone a little bit overboard. (Obviously, we loved getting presents and having the same things so we really didn’t mind.) I will never forget the time she and I both got new toothbrushes for when we’d stay over at our grandparents house together and the toothbrushes were different colors. I think she and I stared at each other in amazement just like- wait a minute, it’s the same toothbrush, just different colors?! So we really didn’t get the same thing this time?! (And for the record- they were both red, just different shades.)
Lauren was known as “Yaw Yaw” because this is what I called her. I couldn’t pronounce my “L’s” when I was little and Yaw Yaw sounds just like Lauren, right?! (My dad had a saying he would encourage me to say: “Little Lambs Love Lettuce” but of course it just came out as “Yittle Yams Yove Yettuce.”)
Even when I finally learned how to pronounce my L’s, Lauren was still Yaw Yaw. She and I spent a lot of time together growing up, especially at our grandparents. We loved going to Grandma & Granddad’s house – we knew this meant (more of the same) gifts, waffles for breakfast, cartoons all morning, making up dance routines to all of the Jem songs, and playtime for hours and hours. Yaw Yaw and I could play Barbies together for days, and some weekends it truly felt that way. I don’t know whose idea it was but one of us one time said to the other “You know, our Barbie stories are really good, we should write these down and then sell them when we’re old enough to get jobs.” So that’s when we became Barbie Story Writers/Producers. We decided that our stories were super dramatic so we’d produce Barbie Soap Operas. (We had the Barbie convertible and the pool, and we used to sneak and watch 90210 when our parents weren’t looking so you can imagine the drama that went on in our writing.) It was serious business and we even started brainstorming on who we might hire to be our assistant (the list included the rest of our cousins who were all under the age of 6.)
Yaw Yaw was the closest thing I had to a sister growing up (even though I tried real hard to turn my brother into my sister… I even went as far to call him Sarah and dress him up in my old dresses and we’d put on fashion shows. It’s a miracle he still loves me!) When Yaw Yaw and I weren’t writing our next Barbie episode, we would have tea parties. I think sometimes we did it just to get the cookies from my Grandma and to wear fancy clothes, but isn’t that why anyone has tea parties??
While the Barbie Story Production days are now over and our tea parties have turned into Vodka/Tonic parties, I still call her Yaw Yaw and it’s still one of our favorite things to reminisce about the good ol’ days when we were just little ladies 🙂