Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fragile Nerves and Tender Heads

Alex has been a rascal lately. Yesterday on our drive home from preschool Alex exclaimed, "Mommy, I finished my contract!" {Contracts are what they call the projects they work on in class.} Proud of her accomplishment, I told her that she could have a treat when we got home.

Flash forward five hours to dinnertime. "Alex, tell Daddy about your accomplishment today." Alex proudly stated that she finished her contract. We all made a big fuss about it giving her high fives and kudos. I told her that I'd be sure to speak with her teacher about how proud of her we are and then Alex quickly said ,"Umm, you don't need to talk to her, she already knows about what I did." Turns out, Alex didn't finish her contract and made the whole thing up. She knew she was caught in telling an untruth. Her lips trembled as she tried to hold back the tears, but eventually the reality of what she'd done fell upon her. My heart ached because I knew she felt terrible risking her integrity like that in exchange for a good story. I picked her up and held her close as she wrapped her arms around me whimpering inconsolable. Then the greater question remained, why did she feel she had to lie? We hadn't asked her to finish her contract and in fact, we told her that it was completely optional. 

To make her feel better and to calm her fragile nerves, I offered to give her a bath. I don't know why I thought this would work because my girls haven't had a bath in over a year... they take showers instead. This did the trick. I was thankful because while I never like to see my children cry, I can't stand to see them feeling ashamed of themselves or embarrassed about what they've done. And while Alex has been a rascal lately telling tall tales, it hasn't gotten to the point of habitual. I think yesterday she learned her lesson the hard way and will probably now think twice before she tries to pull the wool over our eyes again.

After Sammy saw how much fun the bath was for Alex, she asked if she could have one tonight and of course, I gave her a bath too. Sammy has had this towel since she was a baby and I can't get enough of it.

Both girls have tender heads which makes brushing their hair a real chore. Last week I started brushing and braiding Alex's hair each night before bed to keep the tangles away. After the struggle I had with Sammy's hair this morning she allowed me to brush and braid her hair tonight too. I'm hoping her hair will be more manageable in the morning. Oh, please let it be more manageable tomorrow morning.

After the girls had their baths and their hair brushed, we settled into a quiet evening of reading. This routine seems to have soothed the entire household and thank goodness for that.


  1. My grandson phoned me a few weeks ago to tell me about his new pet rat named Ratatouille.( DGS lives 50% of the time at his Mom's house and 50% at my daughter & SIL's place. He is 11 years old, almost 12.) I was astonished and delighted. My daughter raised pet rats in years gone by and they are fabulous pets!

    Last week DGS phoned me and said he had something to tell me that he did not want to share, but must. It turns out that Ratatouille was a figment of his imagination, not at all a true story. He began the story as a joke, but then it got out of hand and he didn't know what to do. He went to his Dad and they decided that telling the truth both to his "bonus" mom and to me was the solution, hard though it was.

    My sympathies to Alex. Be it known that a bath is a fine solution for Skyler as well!

  2. Marie, your grandson sounds just as precious as can be. Thanks for sharing this story with me.