While Drex and I clean the kitchen after breakfast and get ready for work, Sonya and Leena go to their top-secret headquarters in the living room. Laughter, noise, and even the occasional crash reassures us that all is well— but silence? That’s when we get worried. That’s when we know the girls are up to something.
We’ve caught them unwrapping and putting on dozens and dozens of Band-Aids on imaginary cuts. We’ve caught them playing with unauthorized toys or iPods. We’ve caught them using up sheets of stickers. We’ve caught them playing with little choking hazard beads they somehow managed to get from who knows where. We’ve caught them carefully folding a deck of playing cards.
But you know what? At least they’re in it together. Cooperation, ingenuity, resourcefulness, independence, and self-sufficiency— these are traits I want to cultivate and encourage.
So when Sonya asks, “Are you angry, Mommy?”
I have to shake my head and say, “No… but next time, you should ask for permission before you do [whatever it is they were caught doing].” Then just to confirm I’ll ask, “Did you know you weren’t supposed to [fill in the blank]?”
Sonya will nod. Leena will shake her head.
“I’m sorry, Mommy,” Sonya will mumble reflexively. “I won’t do that again.”
Will “disciplining” always be this simple? I better enjoy this period of innocent subversion. To my daughters’ credit, they haven’t been caught doing the same unauthorized thing more than twice (it takes an extra go-round to drive the lesson home, sometimes). I admire their creativity.
More than anything, they make me laugh. Their antics, ideas, and madcap camaraderie make me appreciate all the little, ordinary, everyday moments.