Munchkin likes to chill when she gets home. She is not your hoppity hop sorta kid whom you can drag from one activity to another (while being a tiger mom in training) with a taco bell burrito and a snack on the way.
She comes home, and she needs to plonk herself down on that couch, gape at that Nickelodeon channel and demand food! Unwind and be lazy and then if all the stars are aligned right, she will allow herself to get to work. Any kind of work. Including taking her empty glass or plate and walk it to the sink.
Today, she was running late and barely had 30 minutes before she had to head out for Jazz. She does her usual and I tell her in slow tones:
You have about 20 minutes to get dressed and go. Ok?
She has that u-got-to-be-kidding-me look.
Okay, just eat your snack for now and I’ll tell you.
Munchkin, we have 5 minutes to leave.
She turns back angry. Then it becomes a whine.
What? Just 5 minutes?
I nod my head
FIVE minutes? ..and her voice goes into a shrill – Just five minutes. But I still have to go change! Why did you tell me before?Now am going to be late! I can’t be late! Mom!!
I calm her with my apparently now calm voice
It’s okay, you can be a few minutes late, don’t worry!
Noooo, I can’t be late! I don’t want to be late.
The tears rush now.
Aw baby, don’t cry, it’s alright! You still have 4 minutes to go change and then it will take us 3 minutes to drive there and it’s snowing too, so we should hurry. But go on now, eat up.
She calms down. Gobbles her last pieceof sandwich, slyly feeds the dog with a tiny triangle, and looks at me with a smile
NOW I am going to go change and we can go.
I laugh and pull her close, asking her
So you don’t like being late?
Her eyebrows furrow. No!
Why? What happens if you are late?
Her eyes go round, and she has the is-that-even-a-valid-question look on her face as she indignantly and bluntly replies
Coz I’ll be late.
*a silent duh hangs in the air*
She scuttles off to change and I start this post.
It must be wonderful to not be or do something coz it is just wrong to be or do that particular action. Repercussions need not be a motivation for that act to take place. I suppose only children in their pristine sense can be plain and unassuming, something that disappears quickly as they grow up. They are fed (by adults or parents) the consequences of their actions and words such as “bribe”, “reward”, punishments”, and such sneak into their head.
Some actions are just wrong. Not because they can trigger a sequence, but just for that moment, they are wrong. They are very capable to stand their ground and hold themselves for what it’s worth.
I like that instance.