Monday, July 25, 2011

The Shoelace Incident....Part 1

In light of my girls being gone for what seems like forever...I have decided to tell the story Olivia never wants anyone to know. This journey into her inner workings were only a foreshadowing of what I am up for come teenage years. The story begins with a fabulous pair of lace up boots...a pair I had my eyes on all winter. Like the good bargain shopper I am, I knew if I waited long enough that I would find them on sale. Sure enough, Amazon.com had them for $25 (and free super saver shipping!). A whole season and three to five days standard shipping later, they were mine. Grey, 3in cone heel, lace up, fold over boots. The perfect blend of rocker and boho cool. They were both unique and classic...and over half the retail price, they were a steal. Of course, living in Youngstown OH, I knew it would be weeks before they would make their outfit debut. I snuck them in once on a happy hour date...a date where everyone was already drunk when I go there and unable to appreciate their true majesty. So I was still in process of coordinating them with the perfect outfit.

I stared at the boots every day that week after work. Picturing them with a skirt and tights or over black skinny jeans, I looked at them longingly..waiting to wear them. One day I did a double take, the laces were missing. Was I crazy, did I ever lace them? Didn't I wear them? Were there laces then? Confused, I confronted Josh. "What laces? What grey boots?" typical man. Then I asked Layla..."why would I take the laces?" she asked. The logic and overall confusion in her voice led me to believe there was no reason to doubt her. So unless the cat or dog ate them (right out of their little lace holes), the only person left to ask was Olivia.

Me: Olivia, did you take Mommy's shoe laces?
Olivia: No
Me: Olivia, you know Mommy's new grey lace up boots?
Olivia: Yeah, from the mailman. (Olivia is the only person in the family who gets excited about new clothes as me)
Me: Yes, those ones
Olivia: I don't want to answer that.

Score Olivia 1 Mom 0

I stopped. What now....clearly she took the laces. That right there was an admission of guilt. But how to handle this...my end goal was to get the laces back..I don't know why or even care why she took them.

Me: Olivia, I promise I wont be mad if you took them. I just want to make sure the dog didn't eat them.
Olivia: I said I don't want to answer that. The dog can't eat them
Me: I really need to know what happened to those laces. I want to wear my shoes.
Olivia: You can use my laces
Me: Yours are purple and sparkly...mine are gray. Should I ask Layla?
Olivia: sure
Me: could you please tell me the truth. I already know you took the laces. Just tell me the truth and I promise I wont be mad.
Olivia: Ok...well I was playing mummy and I needed something to wrap around my head..so I took them

Score Olivia 1 Mom 1



Ok. So I got her to admit she took them. It took all my restraint not to say "what the f@#K were you doing taking MY laces and wrapping around your head..how stupid are you." Instead I took a breath. Then I looked at her. Trying to come up with the right words to keep my pace with her I said,

Me: Thank you for telling me the truth. Can I have them back now
Olivia: yes
Me: Where did you put them? were you playing outside?
Olivia: Yes
Me: So they are outside
Olivia: (pause, finger on her chin for exaggerated thinking gesture): No
Me: (restraint slipping away) Why were you playing mummy with a pair of laces, don't you know you can choke yourself
Olivia: Well I didn't have anything else to use.
Me: So where are they?
Olivia: In my room.

Olivia runs to her room. I wait. Nothing really is happening while I stare blankly at a pair of unlaced boots and my motherly dignity slipping right out of my hand.

Score: Olivia 2 Mom 1

Finally, I went into her room to see what she was doing. She was playing with her Littlest Pet Shops.

Me: Where are the laces?
Olivia: What laces?
Me: You were going to find the ones you took from my gray boots to play mummy with. Those laces
Olivia: I don't know what I did with them
Me: (like a cartoon with steam pouring out of my ears) What do you mean you lost them? why did you take them in the first place? They weren't yours. You don't take Mommy's stuff with out asking.
Olivia: But Mommy
Me: Where was the last place you remember having them?

These were my famous last words. What I figured would be an easy answer turned into the saga I am about to reveal. Parents..what do you do when you child is a creative story teller and compulsive liar? I was laughing and crying at the same time. I was wondering if I had failed as a parent or gave birth to the next Mark Twain.

Score: Olivia 3 Mom 1

Olivia: here we go. I went out side and come back in because I wanted to play inside
Me: And you are holding the laces
Olivia. Yeah. Then i came in took my shoes off. took my coat of. (She pretends to take off her coat and shoes). I set the laces down to hang up my coat. (She reaches for the hanger, almost touches it and knocks over a hat). Well pretend I hang my coat up.
Me: Ok, what next
Olivia: (who is now humming the Smurfs theme) I go toward the bathroom..singing. la la la la
Me: You were singing the Smurf's theme?
Olivia: Yeah

She walks into the living room and stops at the desk

Olivia: So I come in the living room. But then I get board so I put them right here and decide to color
Me: Ok so the laces are on the desk?
Olivia: no. I decided to make an art picture with a piece of paper. So I made a face, poked two eyes, made a mouth, then made some hair. But then I couldn't make holes. So then I colored the body and the clothes
Me: So where were the laces?
Olivia: next to me right here.
Me: So the laces have nothing to do with this picture making?
Olivia: Well, I couldn't find anything to make holes for the eyes and mouth so I took the laces like this. (she demonstrates on a piece of paper with a string how she used the laces tip as a paper punch).
Me: So they were used as hole punches?
Olivia: yes. Ok then..I grabbed the string (she takes the string from the desk she used in the last demonstration) and said "I have to go"

Layla is standing next to her in a cow girl outfit we had been trying on for the next school day's theme. She is giggling, which always encourages her sister's flair for the drama.  The story is now moving out of the living room, into the bathroom.

Olivia: I walk into the bathroom. Sit on the toilet (she sits on the toilet). Then I flush the toilet, wash my hands, wipe my face...because there were brown spots on my face that weren't freckles, and I had set the string here. (She picks up the fake lace off the counter.) Oh, wait, I didn't tell you this. (she picks up a watch from the counter) I put this on because I didn't know it was my sister's

Layla: Hey!

Olivia: (trying to put the watch on) well just pretend I put it on.

She runs out of the bathroom, headed toward her bedroom. She knocks over the glade plug in air freshener from the hall.

Olivia: Oops..i accidentally dropped that. I did that too that day.

She walks away leaving the air freshener laying there.

Me: Did you really accidentally not pick it up?
Olivia: Oops, sorry.

Layla plugs the freshener back into the wall.

At the end of the first quarter the score is
Olivia 3 Mom 2

As I stand there looking at Layla in her cow girl get up, complete with bandana tied around her neck I am wondering what is going through her head at the moment. She is clearly very amused by her sister's antics. I assume the shoe lace is probably in Olivia's room and that surely going through Pet Shop play time would jog her memory and it would turn up. Of course if that was the answer, this would only be "The shoe lace incident".  I think imagination is very important in children. In fact, it is what makes Olivia who she is...a great story teller. Stay tuned for part 2....

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