One day last week, the doll came into the kitchen and told me about this great idea she had for her impending sleepover on Friday night. “Mom, I was thinking of what kind of games we could have and all of a sudden I thought we could play a truth or dare game using fortune cookies”. Taking a hard look at her I said “Ooookay” skeptically. “I found a recipe online and they’re not too difficult to make.” “Wait you want to make fortune cookies?” I asked. “Yes, the recipe isn’t too hard and all we need is unsalted butter and flour.” Looking back at her I determined if she was willing to do the work, then who am I to stand in her way. Digging through our basement freezer I pulled out unsalted butter and also found an extra bag of flour in our pantry, for her to begin.
The next day I arrived home from work to find all the fortune and Chocolate chip cookies made and ready to go. I also found my doll asleep on the couch and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. While I had to give her credit for following through on her desire to make the cookies, I was not happy with the mess left behind. But seeing as dinner needed to made I cleaned up her mess, all the while she slept on the couch.
When she finally awoke–just as dinner came out of the oven, she entered the kitchen and asked, “Where are my cookies?” “Good evening to you too…and that’s all you have to say to me? Not Hi mom how was your day or Wow mom thanks for cleaning up after me? Hmm makes me wonder what kind of kid I’m raising”. I replied annoyed. “Mom! It’s not my fault I fell asleep. I only planned on sitting down for a minute. Making those cookies was really hard as you could only make two at a time. I think I got overheated and I just crashed” She shot back. “Okay so now I’ve heard your excuses, but still no thank you for cleaning up your mess? You know I called you earlier today to tell you the dishwasher was clean, so you could empty it and load it as you went along. That way you clean as you go and it’s not so difficult at the end of the day. Imagine my surprise to still find the dishwasher full of clean dishes…”
Clearly frustrated by my unhappiness with her, she stomped out of the kitchen. A few minutes later she came back in and said “I’m sorry I left the mess for you. I really didn’t mean to fall asleep, honestly I just sat down to rest for a minute” and then approached me and offered a conciliatory hug, which I accepted without reservation. “Where are my cookies?” She asked when she disengaged the hug. “I put them away over there…” I said pointing to a few plastic bags. “Thanks, mom. By the way, how was your day?” She asked. “Fine…except for some unexpected cleaning when I got home…” I needled her.
And as you might suspect she gave me a daggered look in return and then everything went back to normal…except I had a clean kitchen for a change.