The Perils of Boo-Boo

In our house, we call our youngest daughter Boo-Boo. Not because she was a mistake: no, no, no – she was (insert Jocelyn Elders drawl here) “a planned and wanted child”. We call her Boo-Boo (or Boo for short) because she’s always getting another boo-boo somewhere. Her sister falls off her bike and scrapes her knee, Boo falls off hers and scrapes both knees and an elbow. But unlike her older sister, who was afraid to ride for a while after her accident, Boo-Boo gets right back on and keeps going. That bike is her freedom, and her great achievement for the summer, and by golly you ain’t-a-gonna keep her off of it for nothin’. (I dread the day she gets her learner’s permit.) But at six years old, she’s had a hard time learning how to accept responsibility for her boo-boos when she’s the one that causes them i.e. when she’s at fault. Take yesterday for example. She had two friends over and they decided they wanted to play a board game. Well, the game was on the top of her wire shelves and instead of calling for me to get it (like she KNOWS she’s supposed to) she and one friend tried to climb the shelves to get it. KA-RASH!!! Over came the shelves. Fortunately, no one was hurt (this time). I sent her friends home and started the process of trying to put her room right again. Boo, however, kept trying to say that it “wasn’t her fault”, “I tried to tell them not to”, and “I forgot not to”. I finally sat her down on the bed and told her that she knew darn well that she’s not supposed to climb those shelves. She’s been told time after time ad nauseum DO NOT CLIMB THE SHELVES. I also told her someone could have been badly hurt, and that since its her room its her responsibility to make sure that her friends don’t misbehave. I told her that saying “it wasn’t my fault” when she knew it was, was telling me a lie, and I don’t like lying. She sat and thought about it for a while, then looked at me and said, “It was my fault, Mommy. I’m sorry” I pulled her on my lap and cuddled her, told her she was forgiven and that I loved her, and asked her next time, please ask Mom for help. After that, all was well. The only thing that was broken was a plastic container, so I guess it could have been worse. But I have to admit that I was very proud of Boo-Boo because the lesson about responsibility finally got through, and I hope it sticks, just like the band-aids that cover my baby’s boo-boos.

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