Sunday, July 19, 2009

On two wheels

Sarah is a very cautious girl and when it comes to taking risks, she's typically very apprehensive. So that explains why, at age 6, she's just now learning to ride a bike without training wheels. We live in a former parsonage and the church (and its parking lot) is in our backyard. Just this past week, we've been taking Sarah to the parking lot in the evenings to give her some practice riding her bike. She was doing well without training wheels in the driveway but we could tell she needed a longer path to find success.

Over the course of only a few days, she has become quite proficient at balancing and riding. She's even learning how to start and stop without a great deal of unsteadiness. She still has moments of nervousness and anxiety but overall, we're proud of how far she's come in such a short time. This is a task that would usually take her months to accomplish so to nearly master it in just a few days is a record breaker!

We're so proud of you, Sarah! Keep working hard and you'll be great in no time!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

End of the innocence

Sarah has never been a big fruit eater and I can't blame her because I'm not a fan of most fruits either. I try to choose fruits that I know she'll eat...bananas, half-cut grapes, apple slices, canned peaches, etc. to serve with lunch. Today I split a banana between the two girls and of course, Charlotte ate hers straight away. That girl would subsist on fruits alone if permitted!! Sarah ate her sandwich and yogurt and as usual, left her fruit for last.

Tonight is the annual pig roast event at our church. This means, in addition to waiting in long lines for food, eating more than an average dessert serving. After Charlotte was finished with her entire lunch and had cleared her plate, Sarah was still sitting at the table whining about having so many banana slices to eat. By this time, she'd been sitting there long enough for them to start oxidizing so they were turning brown, making them even less appealing to her sensitive palate.

I gave her a final 10-minute warning and if she hadn't finished her bananas (a whopping 8 tiny slices), she would get no dessert at church tonight. If there's one thing that can motivate her, it's the opportunity for dessert!! At the end of the 10 minutes, she had chosen the acceptable bananas and consumed those few, leaving 4 on the plate. I told her that for her effort, she could choose one thing off of the dessert table tonight but no more. (We usually allow them to choose a few things from the overwhelming sampling of desserts.) She was not pleased with that and told me that she was going to finish the other bananas.

I had my back turned toward the kitchen when I heard the cabinet under the sink close. Inside that cabinet resides the, you guessed, garbage can. She was proudly clearing her plate to the counter and I said, "Where are your bananas?" and she replied with a near-grin, "I ate them." But I could tell by the immediate change in countenance that she knew she was about to get busted. I walked over to the cabinet and opened it. Sure enough, there on top of the banana peel lay 4 little slices of banana. She had lied. Blatantly lied. Intentionally lied. My heart just broke because she seemed so remorseful and I sent her to her room. I thought that she must be really feeling bad for lying to me as she walked away sobbing so sadly.

But then she turned around and asked through her tears, "But how many desserts will I get?"

Remorse? Maybe not.

I'm sad that she resorted to lying. I don't like punishing her for something that could have been so easily avoided. I don't like that we're going to have a rough time at the pig roast tonight because she's going to throw a huge fit about the desserts. And I don't like that her innocence is waning. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Murphy's Got Talent

The girls recently started liking America's Got Talent so tonight we were talking about what talents they'd do on stage.

Sarah: Mom, maybe since I'm so good at hula hooping, we can go to Miami (the show we watched was taped in Miami) and I can hula hoop. Or I can read since I do both of those things really well.

Me: That's a good idea, Sarah! Maybe we can find a "Finding Contest" for Charlotte since she's good at finding lost things (we always call on Char to find something we can't find--she has a knack for locating lost items).

Char: Yeah, I could do that. But I couldn't find hard things because what if I took too long and I couldn't get off of the stage in time? That would be bad and I wouldn't make it to Vegas.

Me: Good point, Charlotte. You're good at finding things, though, so I'm sure you'd do well.

Char: Well, if we take me there and I don't know what talent to do, I wouldn't be able to get on stage. That would be bad, wouldn't it?

Me: I suppose it would.

I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of "talents" around here. I hope they settle on something safe.