Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Shoelace Incident: The Conclusion

The shoelace incident in our house has become synonymous with all of Olivia's antics. "Olivia did you remember to make your bed?" Olivia "Yes" Me...are you sure you are telling the truth? Its not like the shoelace incident". This approach always draws sighs or tears. While it may be unresolved, we still use it as a reward "if you find the shoelace...I will buy you an ipod touch". (I know an ipod touch is way more expensive then a set of shoelaces). In our house finding the shoelaces is our Holy Grail..it is the key that will unlock the mystery of what actually goes on in Olivia's mind. It remands me of a baby. A baby hides things like cups, bottles, blankies they cant live with out, etc. And retracing the steps of a baby can be a treasure with no map.

The shoelace story is now spanning into day three. At this point of listening to Olivia, I am tired. We have retraced for a good two hours and I can barely look at the pile of laundry waiting for the conclusion of the story to be folded. So to be different, we started day three (which is the current day) backward.  The score was now 5-3 and if I was even going to have any hope of coming out on top, I needed to come up with some real "out of the box" style parenting.

Me: So lets start with when we were driving home and I asked if you had the string.
Olivia: Ok, I said I had the string
Me: No, remember what you said?
Olivia: No
Me: You said "I don't want to answer that"
Olivia: well I didn't.
Me: Ok so before we got home you were at Papa's
Olivia: I was at Papas. but today was Layla's art day. While Layla was at art, Papa took me to Dairy queen. I ordered a Blizzard. But I wasn't supposed to tell Layla.
Me: but you did tell her
Olivia: But I dint know that Layla was going to see my blizzard
Me: well you did take out of the freezer right in front of her. You weren't very secretive about it
Olivia: Oops
Me: Ooops
Olivia: Well I didn't want to even tell because I thought you would be mad at me
Me: but you did
Olivia: Oops
Me: Anyway, back to the shoelace.
Olivia: Anyway, so I went to Dairy Queen, I got my blizzard out (she pretends to eat) I am eating it. Then I think my tummy is hurting so I put it in the freezer. (she walks over to her dresser). Pretend this is the freezer. Ahhh, now I should go to the bathroom..pretend like there is a bathroom. I go to the bathroom, wash my hands, I thought my face was dirty so I wash it...oh I didn't really do that. Since Layla wasn't there, I asked Papa if I could play on the computer. He said yes. (she clicks her hands on the air) pretend this is the computer. Five minutes of computer, then you come. I walk out of the office and tell you how school was. I get my blizzard. Layla gets feisty about it so I have to share with her. Then I let her have the whole thing because I was full. Ok. time to go home.

Me: Wait..So then where is the shoelace?
Olivia: In my pocket, or wait. In my book bag..er--
Me: So, wait, did you have the shoelace at school???
Olivia: No. I came home and got it...i think
Me: Olivia..please don't lie to Mommy.
Olivia: (thinking carefully about what to say next). Yes, it was at school.
Me: AHHH. you are killing me
Olivia: But, Mommy

Score: Olivia 5 Mom 3

I feel at this moment maybe I am turning a corner. Maybe I can take her through her school day...maybe she left it at school and it is a matter of a simple call to the office lost and found. My kids are notorious for loosing things. Since we have started school, between the two of them, they have lost  3 pairs of shoes, 5 hats, 1 pair of boots, 2 lunch boxes, 1 pencil box, 1 jacket, came home with 1 different winter coat, and that's what I know about. Layla lost a pair of shoes for what seemed like all of first grade. She kept saying someone else had them. What did she come home with on the last day of school when her feet were too big to fit in them? you guessed it, the Witches of Waverly Place sneaker she had to have in the fall.

Me: So you went to school with the shoelace in your book bag.
Olivia: Yes
Me: Did you take it out in the morning
Olivia: No. It stayed in my book bag in the hall way until lunch. Then I took it out at lunch. I played with it when I was eating lunch. Then I put it in my pocket. No wait- I packed today so I put it in my lunch box until after recess
Me: Are you sure you didn't throw it away?
Olivia: No. I got the strings out after recess. I put them in my desk.
Me: Are they still in your desk?
Olivia: No. my teacher left the room so I got them out to play with.
Me: Did she see you playing with the strings?
Olivia: No. Then I heard her coming back so I put them in my pencil box
Me: So you wouldn't get in trouble?
Olivia: Noooo
Me: So are they still in your pencil box?


Me: So the string is in your desk?
Olivia: No, I put it in my lunch box
Me: So it is in your lunch box?
I get up to go look in her book bag where her lunch box is. Like the end of a quest has finally arrived, I open the lunch box to find............no string.
Me: Its not in the lunchbox. Are you sure you didn't leave it at school?
Olivia: I think I did.
Me: so do you think it is at your desk? or in your mailbox? or your pencil box?
Olivia: I think it is in my pencil box.
Me: Oh good. So tomorrow you can remember to get it out of your pencil box?
Olivia: Uh-huh

For a minute she looks pretty satisfied. We had both come to the conclusion that tomorrow this whole mess would be solved if she could just remember to look in her desk. I think I should probably call the school...I am sure my request couldn't be the most bizarre thing the school has ever heard...right?

Me: Make sure you look for that string tomorrow ok. Layla will you remind her?
Layla: Sure
Olivia: I will mommy, I promise. It is in my desk.
Me: Are you sure? (worm can..start opening)
Olivia: (hesitates). Yes
Me: I know, why don't we go to the school right now, that way we can get the string and you wont have to worry about finding it tomorrow.

I should mention that Olivia is in full out squirm mode. She is slinking on and off the couch and pacing.... I shouldn't force this issue any more.....I should just let it go.....but the inner stubborn child inside of me just couldn't drop it.

Olivia: The school is locked
Me: I have a key. They give keys to all the Mommies and Daddies
Olivia: well
Me: You said you think its at school. Its clearly not in your back pack, or your lunch box. We looked in your room and the backroom. It has to be at school. right?
Olivia: um. yeah

I get up to start to put on shoes. Going to the school is the last thing I wanted to do now...but I was too far into it, and she couldn't catch my bluff now. I was gaining on her

Score Olivia 5 Mom 4

Me: So do you think it is in your pencil box, or your desk or mailbox?
Olivia: well
Me: What Liv?
Olivia: I don't want to go the school
Me: You said it is there right?
Olivia: Yes
Me: So lets go there and get it..once and for all this mess will be over
Olivia: Mommy
Me: What Liv?
Olivia: I don't want to tell you anymore. You will be mad at me
Me: What do you mean? I wont be mad. Olivia, I promise I wont. I just need you to tell Mommy the truth. What do I always say? just tell me the truth
Olivia: Well, the truth is...I lied to you about taking it to school.

Game over. Olivia wins.

Me: So you never had it at school?
Olivia: No.
Me: Where is it?
Olivia: that's the thing. I lost it. I don't know where it is but I knew you would be mad so I made up the whole story.

Ok. Parents...where do you go from here? Elaborate made up story...check. No conclusion....check.....no closure.....check. Two hours of my life I will never get back? Check. The whole experience has taught me a valuable lesson on parenting...sometimes its better not to ask. If they say they don't know...they aren't lying..they just don't know. My child just went as far as to go through her whole day, incorporating a string into every activity..some that may have included it..most that didn't. I didn't want to even ask what parts were true and what parts weren't. To this day, my boots sit unused in the closet waiting to return to the glory days of when they had laces. I have put off buying a pair thinking that one day..they will just turn up in the most random spot and we will all have a good laugh about it. But, I am sure I will end up with a pair of Wally-World replacements...and reminder of what happens when you take a trip into your kid's mind.

Me and Liv, Walking away in Harmony..

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love Olivia. She is the most entertaining youngster ever. The world is definitely a better place because Olivia is a part of our life. Tell Olivia I never want her to change.

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