The Crabby Old Lady Syndrome

Mild panic grips me when children visit. My house isn’t fragile, but little ones have a way of ferreting out exactly what I don’t want them to find and desiring it. If parents hesitate to say no, I’m left in the awkward position of either allowing the treasure to be handled or becoming The Crabby Old Lady.

Don’t get me wrong, I have colored markers and reams of paper. When my girls were little those would have kept them enthralled for hours. There’s also a covered cup with dice inside that can be rattled, or opened to explore the contents. Dice. Right. That’s about the extent of my toy collection. Balls roll off the edge of my living room and drop two floors to the garden. Can’t have balls. Everything requires storage space. There’s not an extra inch of that.

Dad always said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” So when Ketut and Komang brought three-year-old Nengah to visit me yesterday, it was time for creativity overdrive. I remembered a collection of empty yogurt containers that substitute for the non-existent Tupperware here. My guests watched with curiosity while I assembled the bottoms with the matching tops and stacked them, one by one, higher and higher. In less than a nanosecond we were embroiled in a wild game of build the tower and knock it down. Everyone within miles heard Nengah’s shrieks…and mine!

I don’t remember when I’ve had so much fun. Later, alone in the happy aftermath, I waxed reflective. It struck me as ironic how the richness of life seems to multiply with simplicity. True happiness requires so little.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gary Huls
    Jun 16, 2016 @ 05:47:56

    Sherry…. Thanks for sharing such a sweet story.
    I remember fondly my Father’s creative efforts of play when I was a young boy in the 1950’s. On one rainy summer day in Indiana when my sister and I could not go out side, he brought in two common 50 foot garden hoses and draped them around the kitchen and adjoining dining room.. By putting the two hoses together, forming a “track” he snaked the hoses under chairs, over table tops creating 50 ft of race-track. All he needed to add was a few colorful marbles, Starting at the beginning, the highest place in the room, the marbles would speed along…slowing up as they went up hill and running wildly around the rooms to our delight. It was a joyous play time shared with my Father.
    Thank you for awakening this happy view of play time with my Father. Your story perfectly points out, that the creative simple solutions are still the BEST.

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  2. Marilea
    Jun 16, 2016 @ 09:56:46

    Thank you for sharing. Very sweet.

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  3. Lottie Nevin
    Jun 16, 2016 @ 15:26:52

    Yoghurt pots reign supreme in our house. They are wonderfully handy for so many things and clever you for your inventive idea for a tiny tot’s entertainment. I bet you had fun and I can imagine the giggles and smiles.

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  4. Susan Wiste
    Jun 16, 2016 @ 21:16:10

    This is a metaphor for all of life. Keep it simple and keep it joyful!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Jun 16, 2016 @ 22:42:03

      And wouldn’t you think that keeping it simple would be, well, simple?! But it isn’t, or at least it isn’t for me. I have to pay attention to my tendencies and reign myself in over and over again. But I’m grateful for the awareness that tells me when I’m straying from the joyful path!

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  5. Susan Wiste
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 09:35:04

    No, I agree, it takes constant awareness and living in the moment.

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  6. Kathleen BestIsYetToBe.com
    Jun 18, 2016 @ 13:59:01

    Oh I love this! Reminds me of my kids ignoring the new expensive gift so they could play with box instead. Whatever works, right?

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