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Ah, There's That Fruit

First off, if you haven’t read
yesterday’s blog, read that before going on.

So yesterday morning Maddie was admiring our Advent calendar,
looking at the scene and talking about Jesus’ birth and
speculating on what would be behind that night’s door (is it
a shepherd? A donkey? The suspense is killing me!). Maddie would go
take off the magnetic pieces we’d already put on the board,
which I allowed as long as she stayed at the board with them. I
also made sure she knew not to play with the doors, or try to move
the board itself since it was not firmly planted anywhere.

Five minutes later I was in the bathroom
when I hear a crash. I came running out, to find the Advent
calendar tipped over and several pieces scattered across the floor,
doors knocked wide open. I saw scrambling on her knees, a child
beneath a knocked-open piñata, and Maddie looking wide-eyed,
fear and guilt written across her face. Guilt for what she’d
done, and fear of the impending consequences.

I gently (I promise!) removed the girls and restored the Advent
calendar. Then I told Maddie I needed a moment to think about
whether I’d need to move to calendar to an unreachable spot,
or if I could trust her not to play with it any more to keep it

I saw the sadness in her eyes and knew it’d been an honest
mistake. I understood that she’d probably tugged on a door or
knocked the whole thing off-balance, but knew she’d been
treating it respectfully, just as I knew I’d allowed her to
play with it in the first place. And I didn’t want the
calendar to become this idolized, off-limits aspect to Christmas
but rather a hands-on, real reminder of the nativity.

So in the end I called Maddie back in and told her I’d give
her another chance, and that I’d leave the calendar where it
was with the caveat that she couldn’t play with it any more.
Relieved, she agreed to the restrictions and we continued getting
ready for the morning.

About fifteen minutes later we were sitting at our shoe bench,
pulling on socks and sneakers. Kneeling at Maddie’s feet, I
felt a small hand on my shoulder and looked up. “Mommy, I
need to tell you something,” Maddie began hesitantly. Bracing
myself for the worst – I found your pearls and fed them to
the cat! I watercolored with your makeup on your bedspread! –
I took a deep breath and said, “Ok, pup, what is it?”

“I wanted you to know that I’m really sorry I knocked
over the Advent calendar. I won’t do it again.”

And that, folks, is what it’s all about.


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