Life Lessons Learned at the Barrett Bungalow

Not too many minutes have passed since M* came up to me SOBBING about breaking something. I was upstairs at the computer during the Hatch Batch weekly family IM session.

"What was broken?" I asked.

sob, sob, sob....snuffle...sob....

"Your pie!" sob, wail, wail, sob...

The day of my Grandfather's funeral, my sister Jocelyn gave me my birthday present early. It was this glass lemon meringue ornament. To remember that BonPapa had a love for lemon meringue pies. Everyone who knew him, knew that was his favorite dessert!

Oddly enough, I didn't get mad or start hollering at her. Probably b/c she was so visably upset and saddened at what had happened. The ornament hung on an ornament display hook on a shelf in the kitchen. Dad and the 3 kids were playing balls inside the house. Something that they have been told repeatedly not to do. I have said that they could play in the basement or outside. But not upstairs. Ken even said, "Well, I tried to get them to stop and then they convinced me to play along with them." So M* threw the ball, it hit Ken's head and bounced off on the shelf...crashing down the delicate ornament.

At first I really didn't say much, except, "You've been told not to play with balls in the house." And "Ken, the kids are little. You're the adult. They don't convince YOU to break the rules."

A few minutes later, I gathered the balls. (Which was distressing b/c M*'s beach ball is a school reading project. She is to write down the title of the books that she reads this summer.)

A few minutes after that I calmly went back downstairs and informed all 4 ball players that they owed me $3 dollars each to replace, if I could find it, the ornament. C* only had 40cents to his name. Evan did have $2 and some change. M* the money bags, said "but then I'll have to give you my special two dollar bill." Knowing that she had to have more than $3 in her pocession, I said "do you only have a $2 bill and a $1 bill?"

"No, I have a $5."

"Then, give m the five and I"ll give you two dollars in change."

The crying starts...

"But it's a special five dollar bill."


sob, sob, sob..."B/c it's a NEW ONE."

"Well the bank has NEW ONES...when you aquire five more dollars, you can take it to the bank and get the NEW five dollar bill. The same one...the one with the RED FIVE on the back!"

More tears...

Life has a lot of lessons to be learned.

1. Follow the rules.
2. If you break the rules, you are going to pay the consquences.
3. You will have to make restitution on things that you break.

I'm sure in time, she will learn that this pie lesson was simple...compared to what she will undoubtly encounter on the road of life.


Stampinsilvia said...

ohhh I'm so sorry to hear about your piece of pie! I know how special those kinds of treasures are and although *I hope* will be able to replace it won't be the same! I'm sure she has learned a valuable lesson and hopefully Dad will be a rule follower and not be encouraged by the kids...I know it's hard though, I sometimes break the rules myself, and I'm the rule maker!

Great Grandma Lin said...

it's hard to teach the lessons that have to be learned but it's easier to learn them when you are at home...hard to be a mom or responsible parent. i know. interesting to try to give advice to kids who know it all once they are adults. life has its challenges at each age. aunt lin

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry about the pie, it is made by Radko, so they are a popular ornament, check ebay too!
But most of all i appplaude that you are the type of parent i wish the world was full of. to teach the youngsters that mistakes are made, and how to deal with the consequences.
you my dear are a wonderful parent!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

You handled this in a way that would make Bon Papa proud! :)

Deborah Anton said...

Oh! I am sorry to hear about your ornament! I hope you are able to replace it!!! I have been there before... They have learned a lesson for sure! That "special" money (as my kids call it) will be even more special the second time around! On a different note... I have tagged you! Look at my blog for info...

Renee said...

Injury's and broken things...my my. I hope you have a better week :) If you come to my blog maybe you'll win my blog candy!!


Kristine said...

OH...you did the right thing by making them pay a reasonable price for it. That's hard to see them so upset over it and crying, but that's how they learn lessons. Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

You are a very wise woman. I am sorry to hear about the meringue pie ornamnent your sister gave to you.I'm sure it meant a great deal to you.