It’s November, but the Jetstream has presented us with what is surely the last week of warm weather. As soon as breakfast is finished, we take a walk to search for leaves. Along the way, we find a stretch where the leaves are piled deep on the sidewalk. Our feet make swishing noises as we push though them. I teach Jet how to shuffle her feet so the leaves make more noise. It’s so much fun, we turn around and do it again.
Back at Grandma’s house, the sun is so bright and the air so warm that we want to stay outside a little longer. We get out the bottles of bubbles and blow on our wands until our faces get tired. It’s time to go inside. Jet wants to leave her jacket on while she strings beads and completes a puzzle.
When she begins to feel thirsty, we go into the kitchen to get a drink. Jet pulls her jacket off and throws it on the floor.
“Pick that up, Grandma,” she says firmly.
I raise an eyebrow. “That’s your job, “ I say mildly. “You know where your jacket belongs.”
“No, it’s your job, Grandma! You pick it up and put it away.”
“Jet, it’s your job to pick up your jacket, and it’s my job to send little girls who don’t mind their Grandma to timeout.”
Jet picks up the jacket and throws it on the floor. I look at her with an expression of reproof. She picks up the jacket again and stomps across the room to put it away.
“Good job!” I tell her. “That’s the way to do it!”
On the way back into the kitchen, she picks up speed. Suddenly, she raises one foot and brings it down on Marcy’s paw – hard. Marcy screams and runs behind me.
“Jet! You hurt Marcy’s foot on purpose! I’m VERY disappointed in you.”
Jet raises her hands palms up and shrugs her shoulders.
I give her my best no-nonsense glare, the look that has inspired every other child of my acquaintance — save this one — to straighten up and fly right. I shake my head slowly and repeat. “So very disappointed. Our family doesn’t hurt dogs.”
“Do you feel sad about hurting Marcy?”
“No.” Another shrug.
“Well, I feel very sad that you hurt Marcy. Very, very sad.” I continue to look at her sternly as her big blue eyes narrow and she tilts her small chin up to meet my gaze. I’m still thinking about my next move when she turns and walks slowly into the living room.
I finish getting her water and follow. To my surprise, I find her sitting in the time out chair!
“Jet! Did you put yourself in time out?”
She nods slowly. “I hurt Marcy.”
“Yes, you did. I’m glad that you know that’s wrong.” I lift her up and give her a hug. She hugs me back firmly and puts her head on my shoulder. “You know Grandma loves you even when you do something naughty, don’t you?”
“Grandma always loves me!” she says as she squirms to get down.