I went to physical therapy for my injured left wrist for the first time today, and learned that my right wrist is also quite stiff. My other joints seem fine, but even my good wrist isn’t very good. The therapist had no idea why, and neither do I. (I asked him, “Could it be sympathetic?”) So when I was telling my family about this, I said, “Now I want to work on getting my right wrist really flexible, too.”
Mabel said, “But you don’t need a very flexible wrist to sew or do anything else you like to do.”
“I know. But I just want both of my wrists to be really good; really flexible. I want my wrists to be perfect.”
“Then be righteous and die.”
That reminded me of when my niece was in a little film where they asked very young kids gospel questions to see what funny answers they would give. I think my niece was only three or maybe four, and one of the questions they asked her was “What can you do to be closer to Heavenly Father?” Without missing a beat, she answered, “Die!”
Looking at a photo, I said, “That’s not the best picture of me, but it’s okay.”
Mabel said, “You always say that. What IS the best photo of you? A photo of someone else?”
“It hasn’t been taken yet.”
Trying to get out the door to drive Henry’s kindergarten carpool, I couldn’t find Hazel. After a lot of shouting for her, she came staggering down the stairs, her arms loaded with toys, a blanket, and a sippy cup.
“Hazel, you can’t bring all that with you. You won’t be able to get in the car quickly with your arms full. Just put the toys down and come get in the car.”
“But I need to bring my toys.”
“No, you don’t. We’re in a hurry. Just bring your sippy cup.”
So she did. I put her jacket on her and headed for the car, but as we got into the garage, I glanced down and saw that her arms were full again. This time she had the sippy cup, an empty See’s chocolates box and a couple of Duplos.
“Hazel! I said you can’t bring that stuff! Put it back!”
“But I wannnnt to!”
“No. You can play with them when we get home in a few minutes, but we really need to go now.”
So she dropped the whole armload right there on the garage floor, and wailed, “Bye, toys!”
By the way, telling my toddlers to say goodbye to inanimate objects has often helped them transition when they haven’t wanted to leave somewhere or to give up someone else’s toy. It’s a simple but surprisingly effective strategy.
The day before Valentine’s Day, we realized it was going to be sad for Hazel when the other kids came home from school the next day with lots of cards and candy. So Mabel made a valentine box for her, and after school each of the kids shared a little of their loot with her. Hazel loves her box, and has been storing her treasures in it and carrying it around like a suitcase.