My middle daughter recently made a purchase with some allowance and birthday money she had saved from our local Target. She indecisively strolled up and down the toy aisles and stopped at the doll section first. She looked at the dolls and the doll accessories countless times. She was very indecisive about purchasing another doll. It could have been my voice in the background saying “It is your choice, but you do have a lot of dolls and rarely play with them”. And then…she saw it!!! A pink razor scooter, and the price, the EXACT amount that she brought to Target with her!
It was meant to be.
When she looked at the scooter, she contemplated how much she would use it. “I can ride this a lot outside, bring it to the park, maybe even bring it camping, but I think I would have to walk it down our big hill” She was absolutely right. She could ride it outside, get fresh air, a bit of exercise and bring it places like the trails and parks. We were both sold!
We were both sold!
When we brought the scooter home
Immediately upon entering the house, she wanted to open it. My attempt at assembling anything is always pretty hopeless, but her excitement compelled me to try. I sat there trying to figure it out and after a little while I was totally ready to give up. The look on my daughters faces when I told her to wait until her dad got home, made me realize two things. First, I need to figure this out myself and second, I didn’t want to instill in her that a woman always needs to resort to a man to assemble things for her! So there I sat, figuring it out.
And what do you know? It was easier than I thought. I just had to actually use my brain!
So there it was, a neon, pink, shiny scooter, ready to ride. Of course, I had to let my daughter ride it, but I didn’t want to bundle everyone up and go outside. So, I told her she could use it in the house. However, as soon as it goes outside, it becomes an outside toy.
The novelty of the new scooter was so fun for her. She rode it around and around and around until she broke a sweat!
When my eldest daughter came home and saw the new shiny scooter, her first response was “Hey, where did she get that?!” I told her that her sister used some of her savings and bought it herself. My eldest really couldn’t argue with that. The only thing she could do was ask her if she could have a ride. My eldest cruised around saying ” I’m gonna buy one of these too!” After a couple of cruises around the dining room and into the kitchen, it was time for my eldest to do some homework. She sat down at the kitchen table and began.My middle daughter rolled up to the table on her new scooter to grab a sip of her water. All that cruising was making her thirsty. In the midst of the homework and scooter cruising, I was in the middle of dinner prep. While I was cooking I heard my eldest say to her sister ” You think you’re sooooo COOL on that thing” The easy thing to do in this situation, especially, when you’re busy, is to ignore or make a quick statement like “Don’t talk like that” or “Be nice”. However, the tone of her voice made me drop my spatula and walk over to the table. I looked at my eldest and said,” It’s pretty cool to be able to ride a scooter in the house, isn’t it? Do you feel a bit jealous that you don’t have one? The tone in your voice towards your sister tells me that you might feel this way. Sometimes it’s hard to be happy for others when they have something we don’t have. But the tone you used with her sounded kind of like a “hater” and that’s how bullying starts.”
When I used the words “bullying”, my daughters face changed. The look on her face was a look of guilt and realization. My daughter replied, “Yah, it’s soooo cool that she can ride to the table, sip her drink and ride away” I was so relieved to hear this response. She didn’t get defensive. In a higher pitch, relieved tone, I replied, “Exactly! So, next time, maybe you could say something like, “Wow, that’s so cool you can ride to the table, have a sip and ride away! As opposed to, “YOU think you’re so COOL” I mentioned that her birthday is approaching and if a scooter is something that she wants I suggested asking for one or saving for one. She agreed and carried on with her homework. I picked up my spatula and carried on with dinner and my middle daughter, well… she carried on with scooter cruising.
Teachable moments from the scooter
The shiny new pink scooter brought a few teachable moments to my daughters and I. The first moment was when the scooter was still in the box at the store. It was a teachable moment for my daughter on decision-making. She envisioned herself riding it many places. The scooter taught her how to make a practical purchase. The scooter also represents the patience she had to save money to buy something that she really liked, instead of spending her money right away on little stuff.
The scooter taught me that I don’t always have to rely on my husband to assemble things. It taught me not to quit when things are tough. Some things seem harder than they actually are, and that I just have to set the laziness aside and use my brain!
I believe the scooter taught my eldest the most important lesson. It taught her she isn’t always going to have something someone else does. It’s important to strive to overcome jealousy and try to be happy for other people. The scooter also taught her if she wants something, she needs to work towards having it!
Most importantly, the scooter taught her she needs to think about the words she is about to say to someone. She needs to examine whether they come from a place of goodness, and if they don’t, then she needs to keep the words to herself. This is essentially the first step in preventing bullying.
Thank you, neon pink razor scooter for coming into our school called life and bringing teachable moments to my family.
We have all had our fair share of cruising around the house with you. We’ll miss you when you become an outside toy!