Tuesday, January 22, 2008

parental dilemmas

Lizzy is really getting into the 'proud to be big enough to know stuff' swing of things. She has totally bought into this line we've been feeding her that she's really smart. :) (and, for those who read that recent study, we are also taking pains to praise her for TRYING HARD, as well...)

Sometimes, when she proudly explains to me how something works, she's, well, wrong. And then I'm faced with the dilemma: Do I correct her, thereby pulling the rug out from under her? Or do I let her go along with her happy little story? As you might imagine, I try to evaluate how important it is that she know the 'right' thing regarding X subject. If she's got some facts confused regarding the 'five senses,' which her class just learned about last week, for instance, I'm happy to correct her on how that all works. (on a five-year-old level, of course.) But if it's not a big deal, I don't want to come across as one of those annoying know-it-all types, even with my young daughter.

Last night produced a couple of those moments that I wasn't quite sure what to do with.

In one, Lizzy was over messing with her train table, which was really cool -- until now, she has required one of us (who am I kidding? That's code for 'Matt,' in this case) to set up a functional track for her to zoom those trains around on. But last night, she wanted to set it up on her own. I asked her a couple of times if she wanted help -- she sounded a little frustrated -- but she said no.

A little while later, she called me over to give me a tour of the newly laid track. "That's a dead end," she said of one bit of track that did indeed end rather abruptly. "This part is ... well, this is where the train goes if it wants to look at pretty lights. See? This here is a pole with decorations (actually a lamppost, with balls meant to be lights), and these trees are kinda pretty. It's kind of like Christmas lights."

I love how she can't quite get the track to fit together, so she finds a reason for it NOT to be fitting together. Cute.

(I didn't correct her on that one, if you're wondering. It's not MY train!)

A little while later, Matt and Lizzy came downstairs while I was trying to sneak in an e.r. episode during a Lizzy bath. I was 10 minutes or less to the finish, and I was determined to see it out. Hoping Matt would take her into the other room and interest her in something. (hey! I should've asked her to give Matt the 'train tour.' Drat! Missed opportunity there.) So -- Lizzy was lying next to me on the couch for a Very Special Moment in which Pratt (for those of you who still follow this show) is telling a doc who used to administer lethal injections in a prison that 'maybe you were meant to save that boy from drowning. Maybe that is more important than these 17 men you say you killed.' Lizzy says, "Is he right?" And, "Mommy, why is that guy getting a shot?"

I was struck a bit dumb. She said, "If you don't know, that's okay." I said, "Well, it's just that's it's complicated, sweetheart." "Oh, okay," she said. And she was okay with that.

Sometimes, we parents get lucky. :)

For anyone who caught that episode: I did anticipate at least one hookup toward the end of the show, and gave up on seeing it to its finish. Bah. Suicide/capital punishment, I can fake my way through. Adults being intimate? Not yet, my friends. I am not touching that one yet.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, TV . . . how I will miss thee!

    With what I'm sure is complete naivete, I think there's a lot of value in learning that you can be smart AND wrong. (Some of my students who haven't learned this lesson fail exams and then come into my office and tell me "But I don't GET [Fs or Cs or Bs]." Like that's the end of the story. And the sheer incredulity keeps them from actually learning what they did wrong, because instead, they just want to vent their indignation that their grades imply otherwise.

    Still, that lesson might be a bit subtle for a 5-year-old. ;)