Monday, April 16, 2007

She's Going to be in Sales

This morning I drove my baby to school and said goodbye for five days. My baby girl, who turned eleven years old last week, left this morning for fifth grade camp.
Oooohhhh ~ I remember fifth grade camp! We rode horses, learned how to shoot guns, played games, and sang songs. We met kids from another school and had tons of fun. I had a major crush on CW. (He is now married with kids, pastors a church, and is a very godly man. I had good taste in men even back then!) I loved my counselors MS and ND. They were high school girls and I soooo admired them.
Now, my baby girl is going to fifth grade camp. Elizabeth wears the same size shoe as I do. She is only a few inches shorter than me. She borrowed my nylons to wear with her new dress last week. (My mother-in-law freaked out. "Look at those legs!!!") In many ways she is still a little girl, but she is maturing into a lovely young lady and I love to see her growing.

Ever since she could talk, Elizabeth has expressed kindness and compassion with her words. In a journal I'm keeping for her, I often note the sweet things she says and does. Like the time I was feeling low and when I went to bed there was a note on my pillow which she'd written. She told me she loved me, God loved me, and she hoped I was feeling better soon. Elizabeth is such a sweetheart!
When it comes to her brothers, however, she can take on a very different attitude. She doesn't like them to get into her stuff. I understand that desire, and support her in it. It has become her standard, though, that they aren't even allowed to set foot in her room uninvited. I understand that desire, too, and agree the boys shouldn't go into her room when she isn't in there. But sometimes she goes a little overboard. Even when she is in her room, Elizabeth will get totally bent out of shape if one of her brothers enters without her invitation. It is because of Elizabeth's rantings and ravings about her brothers' need to stay out of her room that I got a BIG laugh Saturday, and determined I know her future career.

We were getting ready for Elizabeth's birthday party. She had invited several girlfriends over for the afternoon and we were busy putting up decorations, cutting out pictures, blowing up balloons, and sorting out prizes. Elizabeth was sure she had some stuffed animals in her toybox in her bedroom that would add nicely to the decorations, but we were both quite engrossed in our current duties and were a bit pressed for time. Previously, we had tried to solicit help from the boys, but since they weren't going to be participating in the party they weren't particularly interested in helping with preparations. Understandable.
So as I was standing there cutting up pieces of paper, I almost lost a finger when I started laughing at the exchange that took place between my kids. Elizabeth put on her sweetest face. The look itself almost said, "You're the luckiest little boy in the world for what I'm about to offer you!" She then said, "Matthew, how would you like to go rummaging through my room?" He immediately stopped what he was doing (I don't remember what it was. He was probably getting ready to pop a balloon or something.) and looked at her. Just as quickly, Joshua popped out from around the corner and said, "I will!" With that, Elizabeth sent the boys up to her room on a hunt for the animals she was sure were hiding there somewhere.

I stood there marveling at Elizabeth's skill to get these boys to do what she wanted them to do - something they had previously made clear they did not want to do. She didn't ask them again to help get ready for the party. She gave them permission to rummage through her room. By putting a slightly different spin on the activity, Elizabeth got the boys to help. Besides that, she made it fun for them!
And it worked. Within minutes they had returned with the animals in question.

I'm telling you, that girl ought to be in sales. I didn't ask her how she thought about her approach, and I don't know how long she'd been working on it. But she came up with it, and it worked. However, before I turn her loose on some sales force, I'm going to retain her for a while to give me lessons!



Carol said...

Oh. My. Word. What a clever girl! I'm still laughing at the sheer exploitation of her brothers' base desires. Good one!

Lauren S. said...

Sounds like she will be a good mom as well! Those spin tactics come in handy in Mommyland!

JennaG said...

Wow, what a girl. And she's going away for 5 days. We didn't do that in my state--I've never heard of it! Sounds like an exciting adventure for her though! Oh, and I generally don't eat a thing before going to bed--I don't ever remember my dreams either--strange!

Irritable Mother said...

Carol ~ Yes, she is a clever girl. I wish I knew from where she got it!!! *wink*

Lauren ~ She IS going to be a wonderful mom someday. What blessed little grandchildren I'm going to have!

Jenna ~ So you don't *generally* eat before bed...Think ~ what was different the night you dreamt of Amy??? :)

annie said...

Your daughter sounds very intelligent! My son is very good at manipulating the situation without anyone knowing they had been had too!

I loved your thought over at coach J's blog. God doesn't ever want a break from us. Just goes to show how imperfect and human we are that we are relieved to have a break from our children. I do think it is great for our marital relationships to have some one on one time though. God is good, all the time!

I was studying II Chronicles and it is interesting that God wants four things from us, if we give him those four things we are richly blessed~


Mandalyn said...

That is so funny! I think you are right about going into sales!!:) Your kids sound wonderful!!

Irritable Mother said...

Annie ~ My daughter IS very intelligent! I wonder where she got that!
Agreeing with you on the importance of one on one time in the marriage! :)
And you've got me wanting to check out II Chronicles...Was that your goal?

Mandalyn ~ Thanks so much. Every now and then it's good to be reminded my kids ARE wonderful!