Friday, January 06, 2006
Creative Whim or Bad Behavior
Playdate drama today. And all over a little pair of scissors, and uh resulting path of destruction.
Miss Ava was invited to her little best friend's (LBF) house this morning for a fun filled day of goofing around in their fabulous and enormous finished basement playroom. LBF and Ava have been buddies since they were adopted on the same day in Changsha a few years ago. They love one another, they sometimes fight, they can even complete each others sentences. They have even been known to tire of each other but refuse to separate. Instead, they will turn from each other and play separately but have their backs touching.
Now that they are 4 and almost 4 they also get into trouble. Crafty trouble. Test those boundaries trouble. This is not a real great recipe when they play at LBF's. LBF's mom is super wonderful, I love her with all my heart. She is also pretty strict. High expectations and sort of low tolerance for all things shenanigan-like Ava and LBF can cook up in about 20 minutes.
On the way over to LBF's this morning I give Ava the normal "What are your rules?" speech. She responds accordingly, and I leave her at LBF's happily squeezing the life out of one of their cats. I foolishly lower my guard setting off happily for home and with great intentions of giving my desk a much needed New Year's clean and organize session. Instead I read blogs, will the cycle never end?
Two hours later the phone rings. Caller ID identifies LBF's mom. I know this is not good news. I contemplate ignoring the phone and staying in my happy blogland place .
But, then I sort of worry that Ava might be sick and pick up the phone.
Me: Hi, LBF's Mom.
Mom: Hi, (sigh) We have a big problem.
Me with sinking gut: Uh huh, Is everyone ok? (Codeword for Ava didn't bite anyone did she?)
Mom: Well yes, eveyone is fine, but LBF and Ava got ahold of scissors and cut up LBF's stuffed animals and some books. And, needless to say I am very angry.
Me: Repeating silently in my head: Children's actions are their own and not necessarily a reflection of really crappy parenting or moral ineptitude in personal character. Ok, how bad is it?
Mom: Pretty bad, I haven't had a chance to see everything yet.
Me: Many apologies, blah blah blah. Offer to pay for half of damage, blah blah blah.
Short discussion of teaching respect for possessions, making good choices especially after being told about 2000 times not to play with scissors, and general 4 year old pull your hair out testiness ensues.
We decide perhaps I should pick Miss Ava up early. Dum Dum Dum, looms the big haunting music in the background.
On the car ride over I'm uncharacteristically calm. What were they thinking, cutting up a room full of stuff with one pair of scissors between the both of them? Were they just in the moment? Aah, I have scissors let me see what library books look like in tiny pieces? Oh, I wonder what is inside of a teddy bear? What would happen if Mulan lost her scarf?
On the ride home Ava was feeling wronged. Typical for her. Apparently they did want to see what was inside of a teddy bear. I'm not sure why the books needed a good thrashing, but hey. She told me that she would not go back to LBF's. Aah, the heat of the moment. I told her that would not solve her problems and we talked a lot about how this was just a bad choice. Sometimes in life when you make a crummy choice there is a consequence. For her it meant end of playdate, no television and some good alone time in her room.
Well, I guess if they were perfect all the time...it might not be as entertaining. But, then again I might not have to spend her college money professionally covering my grays either.