Number 4 is a sweet and loving little thing. She is kind and pretty, and funny, and sensitive too. She takes excellent care of herself and her things. She is friendly and outgoing and fun to be around. Of all the things she has to play with her favorite, and possibly only choice, is dress up. It used to be that she would dress up in play clothes, but now she has graduated to putting real outfits together in her closet. Every outfit is complete with belt, scarf, necklace and high heals (taken from my closet).
But her listening skills aren’t as fine tuned as her fashion sense.
She is very fond of animals and enjoys getting to see the dog next door and take her out for little walks around the yard. However, she asks me a lot if she can go get the dog and I have spoken to her about the right timing and frequency of this outing. I told her she was not to go over without me.
This weekend we learned she has been going over to the neighbors when I have said no. Many days, many many rings led up to the neighbor opening the door and telling number 4 that she was sick and she couldn’t continue ringing the bell like this and she was going to have to talk to her mommy (me) about it.
As I said #4 is sensitive, very sensitive. Without a word to the neighbor, she turned and ran home sobbing. By the time she reached me in the kitchen she couldn’t talk through the heaving sobs. I was trying to calm her down so I could understand if she was hurt, scared or what. As I held her and she began to relax, the sobs became further apart and I could begin to make out the situation. She was honest and clearly explained what had happened. She was so honest, I truly believe she had no idea why it was a bad idea to ring someone’s bell 30 times in a row (in case they didn’t hear you.)
The honesty and obvious remorse (now that she knew 30 was too many) was sweet. But she had disobeyed me by going over there in the first place and there had to be consequences for it.
So I did what I had to do. I took away her fancy. All the necklaces, bracelets, belts and scarves. Into my closet.
When I told her I was taking these away from her for a few days she was devastated. Crying, kicking, screaming. That settled into, “what am I going to do?” “What will I wear?” “When can I have them back?”
It seems funny to me, I wouldn’t care less if someone took my belts and necklaces from me, but not this one. She loves her fancy! Fancy is her currency. I dare not tell the neighbor that this was the punishment given for such a crime. She just wouldn’t understand. But to number four this was the ultimate punishment and I knew it would make the impact I needed it to make.
And I believe it did.
Number 4 is now fancy again and only goes over to the neighbors when I go with her. She still longs for her good old door-bell-ringing days, I know, but she loves her fancy more. And I love that about her.
She asked me the other day if it was OK that she liked to be fancy. I told her it was more than ok, it was the way God made her and that is perfect.
Fancy on #4!