Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Hat and the iPad

Avery sitting with most of the Christmas presents I made.

A couple of days before one of my family Christmas get-togethers, I grabbed any available box I could find so I could wrap my handmade crocheted items and jewelry gifts. I was running out of options, though, so I grabbed my old iPad box for Avery’s gift, forgetting about the story I’d heard only days before:

10-year-old Audrey, Avery’s sister, had a broken iPad and she asked Buddy, the family’s Elf-on-the-Shelf, if he could fix it. Miraculously the next morning, the iPad was fixed!

4-year-old Avery, upon learning about how Buddy had fixed her sister’s iPad wondered out loud, “How come Buddy didn’t fix my iPad?” Mom and Dad exchanged glances. Avery’s iPad was graveyard material – waaaaaaay beyond the repair stage. 

Soooo, when Avery opened her gift from me, she exuberantly exclaimed, “I got an iPad?!” She was practically dancing in her seat.

She ripped open her present and found – a hat, a hand-crocheted hat. Biggest letdown ever, but trooper that she is, she didn’t complain. From other family members, however, I heard, “Way to go, Grandma, break a little girl’s heart!”

Oh, yeah, uh oh, I forgot.


That event occurred on December 19th. A couple of days later, a little girl approached Avery’s dad when he was working a couple of towns away, and asked him if he wanted to purchase a raffle ticket for – some organization – I can’t remember what (there goes that memory again). He did, and then he forgot about it. (I’m not the only one who forgets.)

A couple of days later somebody knocked on the door to my grandkids’ home and when my son-in-law opened it, he found a stranger standing on his front step, holding a package for him. 

“You won the raffle!” 

So on Christmas morning, when Avery opened her presents and found another iPad box (I laugh just thinking about it), I wonder what through her head. Would she ever again be able to trust that what she was about to open was a fair representation of what was depicted on the outside of the box, or was this another form of deception? I wonder if she asked herself, “Am I getting another hat?”

Afterword: When I met with a few more grandchildren a couple of days later, I made sure to write a message on the outside of their boxes: “Don’t be deceived by the packaging.” Good thing, because not knowing that one of my grandsons had broken his phone, I had folded his scarf inside an old Walmart phone box.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Logic of a 4-Year-Old

Three days a week, I care for my 4-year-old granddaughter, Avery, and we sometimes play games. Yesterday we played BINGO. She loves to spin the wheel, and getting her to look at the little balls teaches her how to recognize numbers and match them to numbers on her card.

The last time we played, I won. Yesterday, as Avery’s card filled up and mine sat nearly empty, I laughed when I looked at my 3 numbers and compared my card to Avery’s, whose card was filled with so many numbers, she was one number away from winning two BINGOs. 

Knowing how games go sometimes, I laughed, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I won after all, even though your card is nearly full?” She looked at me with one of those looks that told me she very clearly knew she was going to win and that what I had just said was preposterous. Responding with an emphatic, “No!” I realized that my winning at that point would not have been funny to her – at all. Fortunately she won. 

We ate lunch and Avery went to the bathroom. We usually have a quiet (not nap) time after lunch when we grab pillows and blankets, recline on the couch, and watch an afternoon movie, but I soon learned that Avery had other plans. 

“I think I peed my pants,” she said. I told her that she probably didn’t because she had just gone potty. She insisted that she had peed her pants and that she had to take a bath. So I set up a bubble bath for her and neatly folded her clothes, so they wouldn’t wrinkle. 

As I grabbed her underpants, so I could wash them, I noticed something. Her underpants weren’t even a little bit wet, so I immediately realized I had been roped into giving her a bath that she didn’t need (I learned later that she had had a bath just before she came over). As she sat in the tub, surrounded by bubbles, happily playing with bath toys, I held up her panties and said, “Avery, your pants aren’t even a little bit wet.” 

“I know.”

“So why did you tell me they were wet?”

No answer.

She didn’t need to answer. I knew why she lied about them being wet, so I told her that the next time she wanted to take a bath, she just had to tell me. She didn’t have to lie about having wet pants. “OK?”


And, good grandma that I am, I wrapped her up in a towel and took out my blow dryer to warm her up. Maybe I make bath time too comfortable for her.