It was morning, a little early. Kid was at the table watercolor painting. Painting her Spongebob picture rapidly changed into just painting her toenails. Then, her toes. Then, the top of her foot. Then, the bottom of her foot. Right, left. (thank you, Ann, for “I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More“) She talked as she painted, tireless communicator that she is. She listed off who that day was her friend and who was not. Once again faced with this “private club” mentality (and a fickle one, at that), I sit.
“You know, you can have more than ONE friend at a time.”
“Huh?” she muttered, face down, painting the heel of her right foot.
“Well, one might be good to jump with, one might be good to race, one might be good to dress up with….” Silence. I take a new tact.
“You see, friends are like pancakes.”
“They ARE??” She looks up. Now I’ve got her!
“YES, pancakes! One is good, right? But a whole bunch is even better, right?”
“So, it’s like that with friends, too! And then there is the syrup. There’s brown, red, blue, all kinds (hey, I can only speak for my household), so sometimes you might want one flavor and sometimes you might want a different one. Friends are like syrup, too, like that.” Okay, I probably should have stopped at the pancakes. As she looks at me, I can see wheels turning in there. I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Teaching your child is so rewarding. How creative of me to figure out a language to get through to her! We’re connecting! How great! I need to hear her speak out on this new-found wisdom in her own words.
“So….what do you think??” My pulse quickens. She puts down her paint brush.
“I want PANCAKES for breakfast!”