Last night Bill and I went out on a date. With the cooler temps, Katya decided that a fire was in order for the evening. The only problem with this is that she has been specifically told not to build fires. Not only is there absolutely no fire-building while neither Bill nor I are home, but Katya because of some pyro-fascination qualities has been banned from all fire-building.
When Bill and I got home, I noticed the remnants of an attempted fire in the fireplace, but also a brand-new but crumpled up World Magazine on the coffee table.
So, this morning, after a little investigation, I asked Katya to bring the magazine to me. With the crumpled up World Magazine in hand, she came to me.
Me: Katya, can you help me understand what happened with the magazine?
Katya: It’s just a magazine.
Me: It is a magazine. Can you help me understand what happened with it?
Katya: I used it to try and start a fire.
Me: Okay. Good. That helps me understand what happened. So, you tried to start a fire with this magazine. What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?
Katya: Bad idea.
Me: Why do you think that was a bad idea?
Katya: I don’t know.
Well, she does know. And I know she knows. So, she gets a little time to remember that she does, in fact, know why starting a fire with this magazine was a bad idea.
When she remembers, she comes back to me.
Me: So, Honey, you remember why starting a fire with the magazine was a bad idea?
Me: Okay, so tell me.
Katya: I’m not supposed to start fires, right?
Me: Right. And what about the magazine.
Katya: I don’t know.
Me: Really? You don’t know?
I think she does, but that she could use a bit more instruction.
Me: Whose magazine is this?
Me: Well, mine, but also Daddy’s. Is it your magazine?
Me: So, how do you like it when somebody messes up something of yours?
Katya: I don’t. I guess I shouldn’t have torn up the magazine.
Me: I guess not. So what do you think you should do?
Katya: Ask forgiveness.
So, now it’s time to ask forgiveness in three steps. For Katya, I’m still coaching her through this process, so she gets prompts.
1. What did you do?
Mom, I wanted to build a fire and so I started using your magazine to build a fire.
2. Why is it wrong?
I shouldn’t have done this because I’m not allowed to build fires. That’s not safe and you and Dad have told me not to build fires. And I shouldn’t have used your magazine to build a fire because it’s your magazine and not mine.
3. What are you going to do about it?
Mom, I’m really sorry. Will you forgive me?
Of course I forgive you, Honey. Just don’t do it again.
Big hugs, big smiles, and off you go.
Mom, I shouldn’t have used your magazine to build a fire because it’s your magazine and not mine. And I know that you look forward to reading your magazine. I kind of messed that up for you.