A Window into Life in the Suburbs


"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where the Wild Things Come and Go

The 3 year old was feral yesterday... like the angry young lad in Where the Wild Things Are kind of feral. Except she wasn't angry... more like intoxicated or drugged with some kind of steriod. By mid afternoon in the midst of a rainy day, I could feel all three of us having a case of cabin fever so I decided to venture out to the shops... first to a local scrapbooking store for a look see and then to a local shopping centre on the way home.

The brief 10 minutes I spent at the scrapbooking store should've been a portent of things to come. Miss 3 Year Old raced round the aisles in Road Runner like vehemence. And when I turned my back, she discovered a light switch at the back of the shop and flicked it continuously for about 10 secs before the owner of the shop put a stop to it.
I valiantly made an attempt to get both girls to sit on a comfy couch near the entrance littered with Women's Day mags... that lasted about 30 secs max. Next thing I know, she was opening a store room door... and even then I had to admit to myself that I was battling a lost cause.
That was my cue... there was no valour or reward in persisting... exit stage right...

Then we stopped off at some local shopping centre. Not one I go to often but it has a nice El Cheapo shop with a so-so range of craft items. The 3 year old went berserk yet again and replayed Act 1. Except of course El Cheapo shop wasn't as big as scrapbooking store. Not as neat either. The owner looked at me disapprovingly and expressed his (perfectly justifiable) fear that 3 year old was going to fall and break something. I got a roll of Christmas ribbon and got out as quickly as I could.
"We're leaving now because you've both behaved very badly." I said sternly within earshot of bystanders.
"It's all your fault, S." The 9 year old was quick with the recriminations.
"You made things worst by chasing her."
"I was trying to get her to stop running."
"You made her think you were playing a game when you ran after her."

My horrible afternoon wasn't quite over yet. Getting the 3 year old into the car and onto the car seat was like trying to catch fish with bare hands.

When we got home, the 9 year old stormed into the house and in her most theatrical told her younger sister that it was all her fault. She threw herself on the couch and sobbed piteously. I felt a little sorry for her. Not the best way to spend her school holidays.
The 3 year old came to see what was distressing her big sister. I tried vainly to explain and persuade her to apologize. She, true to form, refused.

After quite a bit resistance that would have done the troops at the Alamo proud, she relented. Perhaps she was truly repentant... perhaps the Taiwanese crackers were too good to pass up. Whatever the reason, she finally cracked and ambled toward the big sister, mumbling an inaudible apology.

Now, what happened next is what makes parenting ultimately worth all the white hair or hair tearing.

The big sister said to the little sister, "I know you're sorry, S."
She gives the little sister a hug. "And I forgive you..."

Air is clear. Immediately everything goes back to normal. The 3 year old runs up to me and says, "Mummy can I have a cracker now?"

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