July 21, 2004

Odd chat note: watching another step in, and out, and in, and out again, at least three separate times, each time with too little temporal space in between to have been able to have read my greeting. Perhaps school, or work, or life chose to interrupt with little or no notice each time? Or perhaps he was looking for someone other than myself to be there? (Nothing like feeling wanted!) As it turned out, it was Javascript incompatibility with that particular system that refused to allow posting. Seems all outcomes in the universe do not turn themselves around me me me after all.

Five-year-old child with her mother on the bus. Fascinated by the bell cord. Inevitably pulls it - two stops too early. Comes the lecture: "Did I tell you to pull it?" and the forced apology to the bus driver later. Others around me thought the girl looked contrite, and thus cute (but were careful not to say so within her hearing). I thought the girl had gotten what she wanted, and at the cost only of a coerced apology and an unheard lecture. Perhaps she had learned that some things were off-limits, or perhaps she had learned only not to get caught. Had she been taught the value of embarrassment? In a very similar situation around the same age, I remember having learned only to hate the one apologised to, and hating being forced to the apology in the first place. The consequences learned to be associated with the action of disobedience, I think, might perhaps not have been the ones the mother had intended to teach.

Try this for an alternative: "Well, dear, you pulled the bell. That means we have to get off and walk the rest of the way."

Smile of the day:

It was in the wee hours of the morning during a power outage that the second child decided to be born, while the mother was home alone with her three-year-old daughter. Only one paramedic was available to respond to her call. In the dark house, he had the three-year-old hold a flashlight high over her mother so he could see to help deliver the baby. The labour progressed quickly after that: the paramedic lifted the newly born by his feet and spanked him on his bottom, and the new baby began to cry.

The paramedic thanked the wide-eyed daughter for all her help, and then asked her what she thought about what she had just witnessed.

"He shouldn't have crawled in there in the first place," she responded quickly. "Spank him again."

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