Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Can't See Me

Our darling daughter Leah loves to get into trouble. Mostly she just wants to do things her way, and not worry about things like... rules. She is by FAR our most precocious child. Her latest doing is not only hysterical, but applicable to our lives as well.

Leah can not understand that the dirt in our backyard is off-limits.

Now, a bit of story here so you can fully appreciate this boundary. When we first moved into our home the back was literally bark. The previous renters did not want to bother with yard work, so they laid down black gardening tarps, covered those with redwood bark, and left a small perimeter around the fence for a "planter" (that was overgrown with weeds). It was probably nice when they first did it, but by the time we moved in the bark had deteriorated, exposing much of the tarp and underlying dirt. It was filthy. The kids could not play outside because they would get splinters from the bark, and come back inside absolutely covered in wood chips and dirt. We decided very early to replace the bark with grass. So a few months after we moved we paid to have the backyard sod with grass - from one end to the other. No planters. No decorative borders. I wanted only grass for clean, soft outdoor fun. However, we (mistakenly) did not sod a small strip on the far side of the yard where the picnic bench sat. It was only some 3x9 foot long stretch, and between our large smoker, and picnic bench it was covered. I didn't want to pay for grass that would just die from lack of sun. I should have gotten rid of the smoker and picnic bench for the sod. It could have saved me so much heartache. But then, you would not have this story. See, God really does work all things out for the good of those that love him. All of this to say, the tiny strip of dirt has never ceased to be a constant struggle with the kids staying OUT OF IT. Back to the story...

Last night Leah was using a small cup to scoop dirt up and then dump it at a different location in the yard. I watched her from our family room and called out that she needed to stop; the dirt was off-limits.

She did it again. I warned her that she would be spanked if she continued playing in the dirt. She dropped the cup and left the scene - for three minutes.

The next thing I see, Leah has picked up the cup and is moving towards the dirt again. I have a clear view and I watch her intently. She glances towards me and we make eye contact. We both know what she is trying to do. Now, get this... instead of dropping the cup and walking away, (like any of my other children would do) Leah proceeds to place her entire left hand over her eyes so she can not see me. Then, never turning her back to me, she works her way over to the dirt, bends over and, keeping her eyes covered so she can not see me, fills the cup with dirt!

I, of course, went immediately outside to stop her latest rebellion, but because her eyes were covered she did not see me come near her. When she thought she was a safe enough distance away from the actual deed she lowered her hand and literally started when she saw me standing not two feet from her. She dropped her cup and said, "You not spank me?"

Yep. She got spanked.

But don't we do the same thing? I was telling my mom and dad what happened, when my mom said, "Kind of like what we do with God. We think if we don't look at him, he can't see us."

I am trying to take my hand away from my eyes today so I notice the "warning look" BEFORE I get spanked.

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