In which I glimpse into the future and the past
Babbo Natale, aka Santa Claus, brought Lulu a scooter (mani pattino) for Christmas. It’s pink with a little yellow flag and Lulu loves it. She loves it so much that she has been pestering me for the last several weeks since the weather has become nice, to take the scooter out “into the country.” That’s Lulu-speak for taking it into town – evidently phrased that way because we have to walk along so many country roads until we finally reach Arezzo’s historic center.
Of course, I keep saying no because I know exactly how this trek will go.
Lulu will happily scooter along for maybe a third of the way and then she’ll get bored, get tired, who knows, and will hand the scooter over to me to carry the rest of the way. So, I keep saying no.
This Saturday morning was the same thing.
“Pleeeeeeze!” Lulu began. “Can I take the scooter out in the country today?”
“No, Lulu,” I said.
“But why? What else are we going to do today?”
All right, I thought against my better judgment, we don’t have anything else to do today. It’s a national holiday (the Festa della Repubblica to commemorate when Italy finally got rid of its monarchy) and so nothing is open anyway. Why not put this to a test?
“Okay, we’re going to try it,” I tell Lulu, “But here are the rules: Mommy is NOT going to touch the scooter. It is your responsibility one-hundred percent of the way.”
“That’s fine,” Lulu said, “I gonna go all the way scooterin’.”
Well, we made it about past our gravel road and to the little cluster of neighbor houses, which is about a seventh of the way, and Lulu began to whine. She didn’t want to scooter any more and she didn’t want to push and walk it either. I said, “Let’s turn around then, this experiment is over.” She cried that she wanted me to take the scooter in my hands and just “carry it into the country.” I politely, but firmly, refuse.
“You need to take care of it, Lulu,” I said, “Remember, it’s your responsibility.”
She whined. She yelled. I sat on a stone wall holding her while she cried about her predicament. But eventually, she dragged, pushed and scootered that darn thing back the whole way. As I promised, I didn’t touch it once.
When we finally made it home, Lulu carefully “parked” her scooter, got a glass of cool juice, and then proclaimed, “I only want to go in the stroller into the country the next time from now on forever.”
I gave her a hug.
P.S. How many times did my own mom caution me, warn me, maybe even threaten or beg me not to make a choice I was set on making? How many times have I ignored her, thinking I knew better, only to realize afterward, what a bad choice I had made? How about you? How have your kids learned painful lessons? How have you?
Ciao for now!