Apparently it doesn’t take much to ruin the life of a 4-year-old – or I should say that it is dependent on who is doing the ruining!
Saturday, Lizzie (my granddaughter), Liam (grandson) and I stopped by their mother’s salon to drop off a key. While there, Jenny gave them each a latex glove to ‘blow up’ like a balloon. I know – you might be a redneck if you think a rubber glove is a fancy balloon – but it works with the kids, so who am I to complain?
The gloves aren’t hard to blow up – but it is really hard to tie them off so the air will stay inside. After a lot of twisting and stretching (mostly of my fingers, which were turning blue by the end) – I managed to hand each child their own, blue-green five-fingered balloon. They were very appreciative and actually quiet for about 5 minutes – until Lizzie’s ‘balloon’ came untied.
I tried to re-inflate her balloon and tie it off again (without losing a finger) – but when I pulled on the ‘balloon’ to stretch it a little bit – it happened. I ruined Lizzie’s life – the glove came apart in my hands and there was no more ‘balloon’. A great gnashing of teeth and large tears ensued with Lizzie declaring “Grandma has ruined my life!”
Wow – I think that was a little harsh. I’ve done lots of things in my life – but never actually ruined someone’s life (although my hubby might argue that point on some days) – much less, someone who has so much life ahead of her! What was a person to do? There was no consoling Lizzie – and she especially did not want to talk to me, since her “life was now over” because of my actions. Upon the utterance of these words, I let Lizzie know that we were going to sell all of her stuff in her room since she no longer had any use for it – since her life was over and ruined. Lizzie immediately accused me of stealing her things – I was definitely in a ‘no-win’ situation. However, since I had nothing to lose – I told her that you can’t steal from someone whose life was over and some other child who had her whole life ahead of her would really appreciate her stuff. After a couple of minutes, Lizzie declared, “I’m okay now. I can keep my stuff.” Once again, greed wins out.
One day later (not a week or a month or a year), Grandpa was playing catch with Lizzie and hit her right in the face with a small football. She wailed and screamed and carried on – but she didn’t accuse her grandfather of ruining her life – and in fact, she forgave him on the spot. Me? She is still telling people that I ruined her life – but she is managing to get by – just barely.