Friday, February 13, 2015

A Story To Illustrate My Child's Problem-Solving Skills

My children may be headed for brilliant criminal lives. Good thing I am here to thwart them.

Yesterday H was determined to find an outfit that matched her doll's. She tore apart the house looking for a shirt that she knew had a matching doll outfit. She couldn't find it. I figured she had given up when she started asking me for snacks.

"Mom, do we still have some cherries left?"

"Yes, but they're all gross and old. You don't want them."

"Yeah, I do. I looooove cherries," said H. "Please, please, please, can I have cherries?"

I was surprised at her sudden love of cherries. I mean, she likes cherries, but she was suddenly desperately in need of cherries. "Fine," I said shrugging. "Don't eat them if they're all shriveled up and moldy." I tossed the container on the counter. "And be careful to wash your hands after you eat them."

"Cherries stain? And they don't come out?" asked H.

"Yes," I said, surprised again that she had actually listened to one of my earlier cherry lectures. "They're terrible for staining clothes."

She began stuffing cherries in her mouth and I got distracted.

About a half hour later, I'm in the laundry room sorting socks and Hannah comes in, holding a dress. A nice blue church dress that I bought for K for Easter last year. A dress that has a matching doll dress. The dress has a bright red stain on it. It looks like someone took a marker and colored all over it.

"I don't know what happened to this dress," says Hannah. "I'm sorry, but is it a play dress now?"

I don't remember any markers missing. I grab the dress and stare at the stain. This dress has been hanging in a closet for awhile now. No one has worn it. How did this happen?

"You girls," I say, but since I have no idea how it happened or when, I just spray it and start scrubbing to see if maybe it will come out. If it is marker, it has a good chance. It comes right out. This is a fresh stain. And suddenly cherries make sense to me.

"H, it is not okay to take a nice dress and rub cherries into it to try and make it a play dress. You have to find some other clothes to match your doll, not ruin good clothes." I remain calm, amazed at the planning and execution that went into this.

Instead of fireworks of denial, which is the usual response, H is pretty contrite. She even admits to her diabolical plan.

Yeah, she's a problem solver alright.

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