Friday, August 7, 2009

Overheard on Hornby Part 3 – The Lesson

As a parent it is sometimes next to impossible to know when to step in and fix things for our kids. I learned a little lesson the other day on this subject. Here it is.

On our last day on Hornby the girls had been sent upstairs to their room to put it back together after a severe dismantling. The two beds had been taken apart and rearranged into a ‘limousine’ and the resulting mess looked a lot like an earthquake had struck.

So up went Sofia and Zoe. I’ll just mention here that Zoe was experiencing some sort of pathological grumpiness. Actually, she was beyond grumpy and into the realm of psychotic. I followed them upstairs and went into my bedroom to pack up. I heard the following conversation between Sofia and Zoe: 

Sofia: ‘Zoe please pass me that piece of wood’

Zoe: Silence, then the sound of a board being dragged. Then a loud sigh.

Sofia: ‘Zoe could you please pass me that other piece of wood’

Zoe: ‘Sofia! you are asking me to do too many things at once I can’t do all these things at once I just can’t! Stop asking me to do all these things!’

At this point I stood up and prepared to save the day with some sort of diatribe on how It’s not OK to talk to your friend like that blah blah blah. I’m sure I would have sounded just like the teacher on Charlie Brown. But before I got to the door, I heard this:

Sofia: (after a pause) ‘Well you’re being really helpful…’

Zoe: (after a longer pause…)‘Sofia I’m really sorry I said that stuff to you. I was feeling really grumpy and overwhelmed and I shouldn’t  have said it and I’m really sorry’

Sofia: ‘That’s Ok. Could you please pass me that piece of wood’

I was so proud of both of them! Sofia for staying positive in the face of such thundering grouchiness, and Zoe for recognizing her friend’s kindness and apologizing for her own shortcomings.

Good thing I didn’t interfere. The kids are alright!


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