By Shannon Magsam
In the middle of the night, it started pouring rain. When I heard the deluge, I immediately thought of Velvet, the gigantic mechanical horse Ladybug got for Christmas when she was 4. I looked out the window and sure enough, Velvet was on the front lawn getting soaked.
I fretted over what to do. Should I run out in the rain and haul the huge horse onto the porch? Or just figure the damage was already done and let Velvet’s owner go out and do it herself in the morning? I decided to let her do it. And I’m glad. So often I don’t let her be responsible. I bring in the horse, pick up the dirty dishes, vacuum the bedroom. Things she’s capable of doing and needs to be doing.
So that was our lesson in responsibility this week and I was proud that she went right out and rescued her waterlogged pony without grumbling. Well, she DID mutter something about we should have reminded her Velvet was out there, but she didn’t persist with that line of thought. And I did something that was hard for me: kept my mouth shut.
I so often sabotage my efforts to make her accept more responsibility by yammering on about it. I’d tune me out, too. So, success. (And I think the horse will be OK once she dries out. I hope so, anyway. It was one of the more indulgent things we’ve ever bought.)
After Ladybug had changed her clothes for school (her nightgown was sufficiently soaked to help that responsibility lesson sink in) we hopped into the car for school. On the way, we switched gears and she asked about the age difference between her dad and me. She’s just starting to think about relationships. She mentioned that her husband would simply have to like cats.
We joked that when she started dating she should have a checklist for the boys to fill out before she agrees to go see a movie with them. “Must like cats” was her top requirement.
Then she said she’d also like her dates to be “soft”. When I inquired further, I realized she was referring to the State Farm Commercial. Have you seen it? (It’s embedded below in case you haven’t). When the girl asks for an agent who’s also “sensitive” a boy holding a bunny appears. “It’s a rescue,” he says of the rabbit.
I had to admit I was glad she didn’t go for “dark side” or “hot” boy.
I’m also glad she’s still way too young to need that checklist.
Shannon Magsam is mom to 8-year-old Ladybug, married to Ladybug’s dad, John, and co-creator of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of Life With Ladybug, click here. Leave a comment if you’re so inclined. I’d love to hear your thoughts!