Sunday, March 22, 2009

They just don't get it.

I'm sick of my kids complaining and crying about everything and anything. In an effort to give them a tool to help them mentally cope with the challenges they face in a more positive manner, I started helping them memorize this poem by a 19th century poet, Pheobe Cary:


Suppose, my little lady,
Your doll should break her head,
Could you make it whole by crying
Till your eyes and nose are red?
And would n't it be pleasanter
To treat it as a joke;
And say you're glad "'T was Dolly's
And not your head that broke?"

Suppose you're dressed for walking,
And the rain comes pouring down,
Will it clear off any sooner
Because you scold and frown?
And wouldn't it be nicer
For you to smile than pout,
And so make sunshine in the house
When there is none without?

Suppose your task, my little man,
Is very hard to get,
Will it make it any easier
For you to sit and fret?
And would n't it be wiser
Than waiting like a dunce,
To go to work in earnest
And learn the thing at once?

Suppose that some boys have a horse,
And some a coach and pair,
Will it tire you less while walking
To say, "It is n't fair?"
And would n't it be nobler
To keep your temper sweet,
And in your heart be thankful
You can walk upon your feet?

And suppose the world don't please you,
Nor the way some people do,
Do you think the whole creation
Will be altered just for you?
And is n't it, my boy or girl,
The wisest, bravest plan,
Whatever comes, or does n't come,
To do the best you can?

We got most of the way through the first stanza when I noticed that Brittany had become very quiet, and seemed to be rather disturbed. I asked her what was wrong, and she burst into tears, saying, "I just really don't want my dolls heads to break." For crying out loud!!! I mean, the whole POINT of the story is to NOT cry if it DOES happen--not to mention a hypothetical consideration of the unfortunate possibility of it happening.

Frustrating. I spent some time trying to explain it before I finally just gave up and said, "OK, well lets think about some positive stuff, and not worry about the poem for now." Once again, the kids won.

I think that makes the score- Kids: 2796, Dad: 0


Lhone said...

So does anyone else see my point? I HATE that it says to take the broken doll as a joke. Like who cares? You break something OH well! Mom and dad will buy a new toy. I WANT my kids to feel sad about mistreating something of theirs so that they can learn to take care of things. But, I would like them to not feel sad about not having the horses, or whatever that line is. That is true. Can't kids just be perfect?

Wade Hone said...

Blaine this was Hilarious! hehe, I mean, I'm sure it wasn't at the time to you, (and probably not still hehe, but trust me, it's WAY funny.)


Blaineusa said...

Yeah, Beeb. . . no one's with you. It's a GREAT poem!

The poem doesn't say the KID broke the doll's head--just says it broke. Maybe the author accidentally broke it, and was sick of hearing the constant nagging and complaining from her daughter about it. Maybe it broke in an earthquake. . . Who knows. . .but the point isn't about the kids taking care of their toys, it's about CHOOSING your response to life's little "unfairnesses". I'll try to find another poem about taking care of stuff, and post it for you.

AS for this one--it's a GREAT poem! Why doesn't anyone (namely, Brit and Lisa) get that?

Christine said...

Who doesn't get it? There is nothing more important to a girl than her doll. And imagining that doll with a broken head will always bring tears. This is on a par with the little Match Girl story; shows what a wonderful, sensitive child Brittany is.

Blaineusa said...

A very good point, Christine. Both Lisa AND Brittany are beautiful inside and out. I wouldn't trade either of them for the world!