Clearly we have a long road ahead of us.

We cleaned out the children’s rooms this summer, giving away bags full of toys they didn’t want anymore and clothes they had grown out of.  The kids were very good about deciding what to get rid of.  I had feared they would want to keep everything, but instead it was I who had to rein them in at times.  All went well.  Until…

Until my daughter was at a neighbor’s house — the same neighbor who babysits her after school everyday.  Evidently, she was playing with a hobby horse* she gave to their little four year old girl, and decided she wanted to have it back again.  A horse she more than willingly took over to the neighbor’s house to give to the little girl.  (*It is a horse head on a stick.  I don’t know if it’s really called a hobby horse because, to me, hobby horse refers to a rocking horse.  But it is entirely possible that I am wrong.  It has happened, like, once before.)

Anyway, when my husband picked her up at the end of the day, she was in tears.  Blubbering about a hobby horse.  And the babysitter/neighbor handed my husband the horse and told him he could take it back, it wasn’t a big deal.  But meanwhile, her little girl was in the other room crying and blubbering about the horse being taken away from her.  So it was a big deal.

My husband handed the horse back to our neighbor and told her to keep it.  We gave it to them, and it was theirs now.  Then he took my daughter home and talked with her about what giving means, and how it was not cool at all to want to take the horse back, especially since she hadn’t played with it in a very long time. 

He lectured.  She cried.  I came home and lectured.  She cried.  At one point he told her to think about what kind of person she wanted to be.  He told her to think about whether or not she was the kind of person who would be so selfish that she would take a toy away from a four year old who was enjoying it, or if she was the kind of person who would like to share the fun she had with a toy with her little friend.  “What kind of girl do you want to be?” he asked.

Her reply:  “The kind of girl who has a hobby horse!”


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dad on 09/06/2008 at 12:52 pm

    That’s a tough one!!
    Can’t say anymore.

    (welcome to parenthood)


  2. Posted by Lindsey on 09/10/2008 at 4:39 pm

    The honesty of children! Doesn’t it just kill ya?


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