We stepped out for an hour this past week to have a short meeting with some of our leaders at church. Since we would only be gone for about an hour, we allowed our youngest daughter to stay home alone. We have begun allowing her to be at home for short periods of time as we run errands or hold short meetings. Our compound where we live in Bujumbura is safe. We knew that she would be alright for an hour.
The security drill went as follows: keep the phone nearby at all times and answer every call or message we might send. The doors stay locked, no going outside, and no surfing the internet (we lock devices away). TV is allowed as is homework; almost torturous rules I know! Feeling satisfied that she hadn’t totally tuned us out during our “I know all this mom” discussion over rules and safety, we set out for our meeting.
I Had Fun!
After an hour, we made our way home and as we walked toward the door. I saw her sweet little face greet us from a window. As we entered, “I want to say that I had fun! I had fun!” My mommy senses were tingling, something was definitely up.
Sweet fingers nervously folded together she explained that the past hour she had played with water in the living room and created a slip and slide. “Mommy, the floors are perfect for sliding.” My eyes betrayed my feelings. The level of genius she displayed in creating a slip and slide amazed me. I then rewound the tape of my own childhood antics in my brain and briefly relived a few of my own moments. No sweet girl, I wasn’t angry I was actually impressed. I had never thought of making a slip and slide in the living room, nor had the three older ones ever come close to this level of ingenuity. Her eyes pleaded for leniency, she had tried to clean up after herself and she did have fun.
I Won’t Ever Do That Again
Relieved that water hadn’t been spilled on electrical appliances or anything that could be damaged, her punishment was to dry the floor. Then, she had to endure the lectures that ensued for days afterward. She assured us, “I won’t ever do that again!” But, the slip and slide will forever receive props from the whole family. The memory of I had fun will endure in my parenting records and on into subsequent generations.
This Is Andreya’s World We Just Live In It
This afternoon she is playing with friends and again the house is a playground. We often say that this is Andreya’s world, we just live in it! I did end up sending everyone outside as the ruckus was getting beyond our ability to contain. Now, the party continues by the laundry line. Listening them makes me smile, the mess really doesn’t matter, it makes me so very happy to see her happy.
I think God must laugh at some of the messes we create, our slip and slides in the living room. Those things that we thought would be fun to do but later created a bit of a mess to clean up. The effort of cleaning the mess is punishment enough, lesson learned – hopefully! Next time, it might not be so easy to escape the consequences.
Today, I had to step out for a few minutes and the usual run-down of rules had an additional item or two added just in case:
No slip and slides, no hot air ballooning, no flying trapeezes and no pogo-sticks either!