Archive | April, 2012

Well now, that was an interesting study in contrasts.

13 Apr

“Jana, don’t do that.”

Firm, but not impatient. Still, the five-year-old ran from the greeting card display to buy her face in her mother’s dress.

The consoling.

“I don’t mind if you turn it, just don’t twirl it so hard.”

The awkward patience, like an out-of-state grandparent who wants the child to stop but is afraid to risk alienation by being firm.

“Please don’t lift Mommy’s skirt.” Ankle length, we weren’t in any real danger here, but I get her point. Jana did not.

“Don’t lift Mommy’s skirt.”

And one more time, as the patience began to wear, but the importance of not raising her voice in the company of strangers pressed on.

The distraction.

A display of magnets. “I’m not overweight, I’m under height.” Appealed to the child, for some reason.

The lesson.

“No, you’re taking anything unless we pay for it. What’s it called if you take something without paying for it? Stealing.”

The impression.

That we were all to see her as an exceptionally patient, highly moral mother, intent on passing those morals along to her little one.

Things might have gone just like that if it hadn’t been for one little hitch: Things weren’t going as she had planned. She was having to wait. And then she discovered she was going to have to wait some more.

Jana’s mother let loose with a huff and loudness and rudeness and insult, and we all thought, “Where’d Little Miss Patient go?”

And what is Jana learning now?