Baby and Goat have been giving Norah a lot of trouble lately. We’re not sure if they’re entering a new growth phase, have too much sugar in their imaginary diet, or are reacting to unidentified stress in the home. Or perhaps it’s just a normal manifestation of their sinful toy natures. Whatever the causes, Norah has been forced to spend time disciplining, admonishing, and training in righteousness. Baby has received numerous paddles already this week for blatant disobedience, and Goat just received a warning for pouting. He did not heed it.
“Goat, you disobeyed,” she said seriously, looking him in the face. “You needa have paddle.”
“Where you going, Norah?”
“I fink Goat needa paddle. Goat, pwease come in my woom.”
I am pleased to report that Goat did apologize (in a higher version of Norah’s voice) and then I heard Norah give him kisses. She then offered him “one chance to obey” and Goat duly obeyed and was celebrated. They emerged the best of friends, and played together nicely the rest of the morning.
We have been doing this in our house after a corrective. We try to return to the situation and offer a chance to practice doing the right thing. We walk through it together and then we rejoice when we succeed. That way, the impression we are left with is a positive one and the pattern we are creating is one of obedience. Have you tried this? Role play is a powerful tool for children (Norah has also found it extremely effective with Goats). It’s a way to extend grace and offer a new start. And this is something we all continually need, isn’t it?