Monday, July 11, 2016

Good News & Bad News

How often has it happened that we hear our words parroted back from the mouths of babes?

This is why we eavesdrop while they play with toys. A known corner stone of play therapy, children play what they know. Hold on! Did that mom dog just threaten to spank the puppy for not listening?! Okay - she said time-out, phew. Wait, do I threaten my kids? That's not right - I'm supposed to provide logical consequences for actions. Pause for mental self chastising in lapses of best parenting practices Oh good, she is reading them a story. The mom dog is hugging the puppy! Yea! Not emotionally scarred today!

While we may take responsibility for situations our children encounter, it's important to keep things in perspective. After all, how often has a young person in your life made a statement that echos a certain princess with a bow and arrow? Or a super hero, evil genius, or Cartman from Southpark (if they are, hopefully, older teens)? Kids try on phrases like a mom getting ready for swim suit season, a seemingly endless & unsatisfying amount until they happen upon one that fits them just right or at least adequately.

Youngest recently happened across "I have good news and bad news."

Sitting near the sliding door, I watched as Youngest heaved open the obstacle and rushed forward. "Mom, I have good news and bad news," she announced in somber tones with wide eyes.

"Okay, tell me," I directed, then waited while she formulated the order of sharing within her mind.

"The good news is that Mr Nibbles [the guinea pig] isn't lost - he's just in the back yard and I found him. But the bad news is that there is a snake in the guinea pig cage! They keep running away because there is a snake!"

Hmm, mental check - catching wild snakes in the outdoors, not my area - cross reference topics and current occupants in the area... "Oh-no! You better tell Dad." Upon which she turned and delivered the entire explanation, verbatim, to my husband.

He dutifully put his shoes on, after she told him, "It's a giant snake in their cage! It will eat them up!" and out the door the door they went - only to discover Checkers (pig 2) was sitting on the creature and seemed unfazed by his house guest. Upon capture it turned-out to be a legless lizard (yes, there is such a thing) and Boy released it away from the pigs' home.

Since that day we have had numerous good/bad news incidents. I have heard everything from the fish are okay, but all the fish food fell into the tank (just miraculously fell in there) to I colored this picture for you, but the markers (sharpies she isn't supposed to touch) colored the kitchen table.

I like this phrase; it is reinforcing looking for the bright side in situations, a life skill that could use brushing-up in most of us.  It also offers many moments to laugh silently of course while maintaining a serious composure, as she delivers it with the full measure of gravity she deems worthy of the matter at hand.