Tough Love

owlowl

You know those hard as nails moms who teach their kids “tough love” lessons to prepare them for the mean, cruel world they’re growing up in? I’m basically the opposite of that. Last night I took my daughter to see Peppa Pig Live at the Beacon Theater, and it was a perfect day. That is until on the train ride home, when I noticed she wasn’t carrying her little owl purse she brings with her everywhere. I said, “Honey, where is your purse?” She looked around in a quiet, surprised way and said, “I don’t know. Where could it be? I had all my important cards in there.” By “important cards” she meant a long expired Metrocard, some of her dad’s business cards with the misprint, and several old grocery store receipts. I knew it would have been a good time to say something like, “Well, maybe next time you’ll be more responsible.” But instead my first thought was, “She just walked around the city with me for five hours, walking up subway stairs at an adult pace before sitting in a theater for the next two hours, and didn’t complain once. The closest she came to whining was when we were standing on the train platform and she said, “Mommy, I’m cold.” Then she gazed off into the distance at the setting sun and said, “Look at those beautiful colors in the sky. I’m not usually out this late, but tonight I get to see all the clouds turn purple, and dark blue and pink. See all the different blues, mommy?” Like some sort of freaking angel Buddha child sent from heaven. What life lessons could she possibly need?” So instead when my husband was tucking her in that night and I heard her crying, I was in the next room crying even harder, while leaving desperate messages to The Beacon Theater’s lost and found department and googling every possible combination of the words “owl, pink, purse, child’s, hearts, stripes, yellow and pink, cute owl, bag” until an identical match to the one she lost finally came up. I suppose she should learn SOMETHING from this experience, so this morning I told her she could buy a new owl purse with her own money out of her piggy bank. I have no idea how much is in there. If there’s $0.50, then I will tell her the purse costs $0.50. It’s the best I can do under the circumstances.

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