Last week I took Laurel to the orthopedist, who confirmed the broken arm, and denied the broken leg. So the leg splint was taken off, and Laurel given permission to walk (but not climb, swing, jump, etc.). That’s been good news, and it’s been a lot easier to keep everyone busy and happy.
I also spent some time in Bakersfield with more family. We enjoyed being with Mark and Charity and their children for several days.
One day, Bethel was upset. She had been enjoying pretending with her cousin Sydney for several days, but something had gone awry. Apparently, all was well as long as they played animal hospital (what Bethel likes to play), but when Sydney wanted to play princess, Bethel became rather obstinate.
The problem wasn’t that princess isn’t fun to play. I suggested a number of compromises and additions to the princess motif. Bethel wasn’t interested. “I just like to play by myself,” she said. (Now while it is true that Bethel does play happily alone, I suspected that the sudden desire for alone time was not simply burnout of being around people.)
Since many of us know what Scripture says, and many of us don’t always know how it applies to our daily lives, I figured this might be the case with Bethel. She’s four, and increasingly able to understand (with guidance) ways to solve problems. She may not always like the solutions, but that’s another problem.
So I asked her if she was preferring herself more than Sydney. She answered in the affirmative. I asked her what she could do to prefer Sydney’s interests and desires more important than her own. She genuinely didn’t know what to say. I tried rephrasing the question several ways, in case she didn’t understand. Finally, I said, One way you can show that you are preferring Sydney is to play what she wants to play first.
Bethel didn’t like that, but she did understand it.
Then Sydney came around and agreed to play animal hospital. Was all my work for naught? I’m not so sure.