It’s Not All Mary Poppins

I’m so proud

blocksNigel is visiting this week. Nigel, Timmy, Anna and Emily are building with blocks in the kitchen. A howl of protest from Timmy surges into the dining room, where I am setting up a craft.

“Nigel! Don’t knock down my tower!”

“Oh, sorry Timmy. I didn’t mean to!”

“Nigel, you shouldn’t knock his tower down.” Emily is concerned with The Rules.

“Yes, but I said I was sorry.”

“Okay.” So long as protocol has been observed, Emily is satisfied. Timmy, however, is NOT.

“Nigel! Don’t knock down my tower!”

“He SAID he was sorry, TImmy!” Anna is concerned with the social facts.

“I said I was sorry!” Nigel is concerned with justice. And freedom from the indignation. Mostly, he’d like to get back to building, thanks.

“Nigel! Don’t knock my tower down!”

“I SAID I was sorry!”

“Nigel! Don’t knock my tower down.” Timmy is not letting go.

Anna has had enough. She lays an authoritative hand on Timmy’s shoulder.

“Timmy. It was a accident. He didn’t mean to knock it down, and he said sorry already. That’s all he can do. This conversation is over.”

(Heh. ‘This conversation is over’ is not something I say. I hear her father in that sentence. I’m sure it’s a sentence she’s had cause to hear a great deal. As measured as our Anna is being here, she’s more than capable of great heights of righteous indignation and equally vast depths of hard-headed self-pity.)

“But he –”

“Timmy?” Her tone is full of warning. “This conversation is O-VER.”

“Oh, all right.” He picks up a block.

Play continues, towers are (re-)built, there is the hum of happy conversation. All without a single interjection from me. They didn’t even know I was listening.


March 11, 2009 - Posted by | Anna, Emily, Nigel, socializing, Timmy | , ,


  1. Awww! That is so much better than the days you here your voice echoed back, and it makes you cringe inside!

    Comment by Tammy | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. That’s funny; you hear Anna’s father – I hear my husband.

    Comment by ktjrdn | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Now this is a good reminder to me to step back a little and let them work it out themselves a little more/more often. I’m trying to reduce my helicopter-ish tendencies, and that was a beautiful example of why I should just listen a little more. (Still step in where needed, but give ’em a bigger/better/longer chance themselves first.)

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. That’s actually quite funny. And what a patience (and experience) you have to not interfere!
    Is it funny that the same situation happens to grown ups, except maybe not over a built tower?

    Comment by Nat | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. That is just so funny. I love hearing those typical phrases that I use spun back at me. At least I know he’s listening. 🙂

    Comment by Dani | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. Think she’ll run a childcare center someday? She screams elementary school teacher

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | March 11, 2009 | Reply

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