Vignette: a brief evocative description, account, or episode.


At basketball practice the other night, while I sat in the stands talking with another parent, doll approached to grab her bottle of water. As she did so, she quietly said, “I suck at this game” and then turned and walked away, bottle in hand. I couldn’t help myself and began to laugh. “Well at least you’re fully aware of your abilities..” I said later on the drive home. “You know I could help you learn to dribble better…” I offered. “That’s okay…” she nicely replied.


“Mom” the boy said into the phone receiver. “Hey bay what’s up?” I replied. “I need your help. I need you to walk into my bedroom and retrieve my gold tin…” “Bay…I’m working right now. I’m not at home”. I interrupted. “My Anime club is having a tournament today, I need those cards.” He explained. “Bay, I’m not taking Mary Alice out in 9 degree temperatures just to bring you some Yugioh cards; sorry. Besides by the time we arrive, your tournament will most likely be over” I explained. “But..I…” he said clearly frustrated by my lack help.”Why not ask your buddy to share his cards–you know the one you gave my money to? He kind of owes you right?” I suggested. “No that won’t work” He replied.  “Sorry bay-goodbye-I love you” I said in our customary manner. Except in return all I got was “Bye” before the line went dead.

In that moment I was struck by two thoughts: either there were other kids around and saying ‘I love you’ into the phone to his mother wasn’t the cool thing to do or he had grown past that way of saying goodbye to me. Neither of which appeals to me.


When I came home yesterday the doll greeted me and exclaimed “I cleaned the bathroom today-without being asked”. Smiling at her I said, “Hey, thank….you….hey wait a minute-what are you angling for?” “Jeeze mom, can’t I do something nice once in a while?” She tried. “Spill it…” I returned. “Can I have my iPod back?” She said with a smile. “Ah yes the root…” I smiled back.

Earlier in the week I had received and email from the doll’s home room teacher alerting me to some missing assignments. When I went to look up her grades, I found she was having some problems in two classes. Confronting her I said, “Give me your iPod. I can’t have a double standard for you and the boy. That wouldn’t be fair to him”. She gave me her device and immediately went about repairing her grades.

“Well let’s check your grades shall we?” I said in reply. “You have an exam on December 11th. You must Ace this exam or you’ll lose the iPod for the rest of the year…” I explained. Acknowledging my ultimatum I handed her the device and left the room. “Why did you give it back?” my hubby asked. “Because she did bring one F up to an A…and she’ll do the same in the other class-now that’s she’s properly motivated to do so…”

Let’s hope I’m right.


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