Friday, December 12, 2008

From jealousy to fantasy in 8 seconds

Once in a while I stumble upon a parenting trick that actually works.

Like tonight. I'm putting Z to bed and she's all "How come Sophie has a bigger bed than me? How come Sophie has two drawers of fancy things and a mirror in her room and I don't?"

Ah, childhood envy, I remember it well. When I was in first grade, my next-door neighbor had a Strawberry Shortcake bedroom complete with wallpaper, shag rug, bedspread and a canopy bed. Kim's Barbie Dream House and hot tub were just gravy.

So I improvised a little. "Well, honey, all families are different and their family has a different house with different stuff in it than ours. But wouldn't it be cool if you had a bedroom with 100 different drawers full of fancy stuff and mirrors on every wall and a big bed and a princess rug and a real live princess who lived in your room with you every single day?!"

Z's eyes widened and she took over the fantasy. "Yeah, when I grow up I'm going to have a giant bed and glittery walls and sparkling lights and I'm going to go to the toy store and bring home every single toy and the floor is going to be made out of candy!"

"That's right dear, good night," I said, leaving the room.

Ten minutes later, Z comes out of her room. "Mommy, I just need to tell you one more thing about my house."


"Every single clothing is going to be a dress. A fancy princess dress."