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Monday, February 23, 2009

How many 1st warders does it take to change a light bulb?

Tonight I had a Rite of Passage--I learned to change a light bulb ;) Heading out of an FHE, I got a call from the car in front of me that my headlight was out. Now to understand the utter horror I felt from such a call, imagine driving home from an Enrichment meeting one un-employed night a week before Christmas, and having 2 cops pull you over only a block from your house, slap you with a $200 ticket & court date for a missing headlight you were oblivious to, then going back to their car & humiliating you by watching you cry for a good 10 minutes on the side of a dark road as you felt helpless, wondering how on earth you would pay it and what on earth a "court date" was. This was the memory coming to mind when the news came that a new headlight was out! Needless to say, there was no way on earth I would be driving by my house again with those headlight-fining leeches lurking about!

My 2nd reaction was to laugh at the irony: This was the 3rd time in 8 months to have a light go out--and the 2nd time for it to go out in this particular apartment complex! Was I suppose to be learning something from this?! The caller didn't know how to change the bulb, the guy I was giving a ride to didn't either, and the FHE hoster wasn't answering their phone....so, I did what any single, independent woman should do: I got out and began to tap on different parts of what I assume was my engine. Honestly, I was completely lost! I'd seen 2 different people change my previous bulbs, so I had a general idea of where to stick my hand...but past that? Yep! Lost!

My savior came in the form of an older couple trying to pass my car. The nice man hopped out, and in broken English, took my bulb out, showed me it would be forever burnt-out, then gave me step by step instructions on how to put the new bulb in. It was like teaching me to actually fish! A quick trip down the road for a replacement, and I found my climatic moment in a Walmart parking lot, 10:30 at night as I followed my guide's instructions by memory and vuala! There was light!! Seriously silly, but it was like the BEST moment ever!! I finally felt the freedom and safety of knowing how to solve what seems to be a frequent prob with my car, and it was a fantastic moment!

Funniest moment of the day--Out of the Mouth of Babes!
There was some drama today when two little best friends got into a fight. One called the other a liar, and the "lying" boy had an absolute cow! We're talking, started throwing things, and yelling across the room that he was always being called a liar and was tired of it! We all walked away to give him space, which only made him yell louder. I gave him some time to cool down, then went on with his spelling like nothing had happened (trick I've learned from my mom, she uses it on everyone in the fam...kinda helps you not feel so stupid for whatever lame moment of life you just had!). When the boy was ready, he brought it back up...and seeing he was finally able to TALK about it--not just yell about it--I started asking him the questions that would lead him to a solution (Montessori practices coming into play here. Still trying to learn them, but I do like the coaching we give the kids in helping them work out problems).

Anyway, so this darling little boy is so distressed in complaining to me that his best friend is always calling him a liar. Knowing this boy pretty well, I asked, "Well...why does he think you might be lying? Do you ever tell lies?"

In total frustration, and in all seriousness came his classic response: "Well, yeah...but I only tell TWO lies a day!!"

It was one of those moments in life when all I could think was "Don't you dare laugh, Beth, don't you dare!!" haha! Kids are so innocent, seriously, he saw no problem with it...thus prompting a great discussion on the importance of developing trust with our friends thru honesty! I could tell half-way through this discussion that the kid just didn't get it. That's when inspiration popped in (as it always tends to do when I've exhausted all my own ideas--I consider divine intervention to be the ideas that acutally work :) I asked him if a stranger came up and offered him a ride if he'd take it....nooo...why not? You don't know him, you don't trust him. What if his grandma came up and offered a ride?....yeeessss...how come? Cause he trusts here, he's built that up over time. This explination seemed to work for him, he calmed down, and agreed to start being more honest with his friends. At least it's a start!

I do this thing where the kids have to look each other in the eye, and shake hands once they've worked through a prob and apologized (thanks Jon & Kate plus 8! They make their kids kiss after fights). It usually takes a few tries, but by the end of it, neither can stop giggling and run off together, best of friends again! It's the moment when both a sigh of relief, and a smile come out of me :) It's so cool how quick kids are to forgive and move on!

In conclusion: Learn to change your headlight--it's liberating! And be careful of those 2 little lies a day...ha! ;)

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Congrats on learning to change your headlight...I couldn't do it. One of the "perks" of living at home...I just have to buy the light and give it to my dad. I say "perk," though, because unlike you...I wouldn't be able to do it in an emergency. :)

Loved the story, too. Kids really are great!