Yesterday, The Muse got a paper cut in the family room and wanted a Band-aid, which were all the way in the upstairs bathroom. Considering the fact that this was the 150th interruption of my work time (which had just started 10 minutes before) I suggested she could go get it herself.
That sounds simple enough, but both of our girls have this intense fear of going to any floor of the house that people are not on. They won’t go into the (nice, finished, toy-and-craft-filled) basement, nor will they go upstairs to their bedroom by themselves. Since I’ve become unwilling to validate these fears anymore by going with them for simple things like getting a pencil or getting dressed, they usually rely on each other. They’re fine if they go together. The problem is when one doesn’t want to go, which is when I pull out my “Your sister went to the _______ floor with you when you wanted to ________, you should extend the same courtesy, blah blah blah” speech. Many an argument has started and more than a few tears have been shed because one of them left the bedroom or the basement without telling the other one. Serious fears.
So here’s The Muse with a paper cut and me refusing to go get her a Band-aid, and the two of us discussing the fact that she’s going to have to find her courage at some point and that I’m not a horrible mother for not walking my 9-yr-old up the stairs in our own home.
All of a sudden, in flies Dolittle with a Band-aid in her hand. She had silently gone upstairs, all by herself, turned on the lights in the dark stairway and dark bathroom as she went, to get her sister a Band-aid. It was an amazing moment. The Muse was grateful, if not a bit stunned by her sister’s sudden act of bravery and thoughtfulness. Dolittle was beaming at her own courage, so proud of herself. And I was misty at her willingness to sacrifice her own sense of safety and security to do something so completely selfless for her sister.
Awesome parenting moment. 🙂