In my last note to you, “What I Learned This Week,” I shared with you the fact that I was caring for my Ella (age 4) and Owen (age 6) for a week while their parents were out of town. I shared with you a few things I learned, but there was more to come.
Lesson: Be Kind to Others
I asked Owen to clean up his toys in the Play Room and this was our subsequent conversation:
Owen: I don’t like to pick up toys. It’s boring.
Me: I don’t like to clean up the kitchen either, but it has to be done, so that is what I am going to do while you clean up the playroom….. I know, how about we have a race and whoever gets done first gets to have the last few bites of the Cinnamon Rolls I made this morning.
….. furious cleaning takes place…..
Owen: I won!!! Where are the cinnamon bites?
Me: I put them on the counter. (I looked for them and they were gone. I asked my husband if he had eaten them. “No,” he said, “I threw them away. They were just little bites and I thought they were just left-overs from the kid’s plates.”
Me: It’s okay, Owen, I’ll just cut up one of the full-sized rolls.
Owen: (whispers to me) Grandma, Grandpa is very sweet, but he’s not very smart. Don’t tell him though, it could hurt his feelings.
Lesson: Kids Listen to What we Say (whether we think they are or not)
Ella: I have a lot of things to do today. I have to build my unicorn track. I have to practice my song. I have to go to the store. I have to go to work. I need someone to help me. Owen, can you build the unicorn track for me?
Ella: Good. Thank you. Now. Let me see. What should I do first?
Lesson: It’s Still a Lie
Owen has been taught to identify and express his feelings.
Owen, to me, as he throws his arms around my neck: Grandma, I just love you being here. But NO KISSES.
Me: Okay, as I gather him into my arms. But then I accidentally kissed his forehead. I couldn’t help myself. It just happened.
Owen: Grandma! You lied to me!
Me: No, I didn’t lie. I just couldn’t help myself.
Owen: You said you wouldn’t kiss me and you did so it’s a lie. Now you have to go into Time Out. You have to sit in the hall for ONE HOUR. Put your hands in your lap. NO talking.
Me: For an HOUR?
Owen: Okay, for 5 minutes.
Me: …sigh… okay. (And so I sit down as directed.)
Owen walked into the other room, but immediately stuck his head out and said, “Oh, and I forgot, NO TALKING.”
Five minutes can be a long time! But I learned my lesson.