January 10, 2009

My work here is done

K’s got it all figured out. Yesterday her friend Kit was over and as usual they fought like an old married couple. The crisis came when Kit announced she was going home at 5, an hour and a half early. I asked K what had happened but she claimed no knowledge and didn’t seem too concerned.

After about 15 minutes of professional mediation (I used to be a project manager so I have experience with this type of situation, although I used to get $250/hour to deal with it) it came out that K had refused to share her light stick, a weird pink flashlight like device with stretchy rubber fronds and filaments that light up with different colors.

This was odd in itself because usually Kit, who is 7, doesn’t give a fig about what K, who is 5, allows or does not allow. But then again, K has been sporting a pretty strong personality lately so in a real show down I wouldn’t know where to bet my money.

Anyway, K and I talked. I pointed out that when Kit goes home K can have the light stick to herself anyway so why not share while she’s here?

This argument impressed her not at all.

Then I noted that if you never share with your friends, pretty soon you won’t have any friends.

K shrugged this off complacently with a pretty tight counterargument: ‘I don’t care if I don’t have any friends. Then I won’t have to share my stuff.’

‘K,’ I said, ‘you can’t tell me you wouldn’t be sad if Kit never wanted to play with you again. Do you want to spend your life alone with your stuff or do you want to have friends?’

Now she actually looked at me, as if I said something interesting, yet completely off-base. I watched her search for the right words and waited, intrigued.

It struck me in this moment how beautiful she is. Her eyes are a sunny meadow green and when she is deep in thought her face assumes a still look that almost lets me trace the features of the woman she will become. She will be much more beautiful than I ever was.

Finally it came: ‘Mama, Kit gets mad at me all the time for not sharing. But she always comes back.’

Not the greatest sentiment but I felt kind of proud that she can work this kind of stuff out on her own and let the matter drop. I figure if she doesn’t run amok as she gets older, this attitude may even save her from caving to peer pressure or waiting by the phone for some guy to call.

And it turns out she was right, too – Kit had no real intention of leaving and stayed until 6:30. Her point made, K even let her take the light stick home with her.

My work here is done.

I can’t believe how much I rule.


  1. You totally rule the universe!

    And I will pass on to Charlie that you love him. It will make him very happy.

  2. Sounds like K has it all worked out, just like her Mom!

  3. You are the perfect mummy... (giving up $250 per hour for your family automatic qualifies you for martyrdom whereas I only gave up $65 so I get a frozen chicken.)

  4. Actually, R Max, $250 is what my company charged for my services, of which I took home about $65. So make that 2 frozen chickens.


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