About an hour and a half ago, shortly before Ricki left for school, I noticed a large gaily wrapped “gift” in one of her bags. Immediately I understood that further investigation was imperative. And in addition, I noted that she was wearing a lovely pair of gloves… that were not hers. I assumed that the gloves belonged to a classmate, and after badgering her for a few minutes, she removed them, throwing them on the floor of her room. I later retrieved them, in order to take them myself to her school (as part of my exercise walk today or tomorrow), in order to ensure their return to the proper owner.
The package was harder to deal with, but when Ricki realized that I would not unlock the front door of the house before investigating the packaged contents of her bag, she reluctantly relented.
Within was some packaged plastic item, the use of which was unknown to me, but obviously something belonging to one of Ricki’s older brothers. Upon it’s confiscation, Ricki disappeared for a few moments, and returned wrapping up something new. It was my new weekday necklace. (Which makes me fear that a new necklace I purchased recently for shabbas wear, and noted to be missing yesterday, may be far away and gone by now….) Upon confiscation of my necklace, Ricki angrily stomped out of the house, sticking her tongue out at me, and calling me “retarded”. (Unfortunately, in her years of inclusion, she learned that this is an “appropriate” canard…..)
THEN, with the emotional frailty of a child, she turned to me to receive her daily “going out the door” hug. Now I am a big believer in sending children off to school in a good mood. And I accept apologies easily. But here there was no regret, and I felt that Ricki needs to learn that if you are mean to others, and insult them, they will not always let “bygones be bygones”. So I refused to hug her. After two attempts, she turned, cursing royally, and stomped down the stairs. Of course, by then she had missed her ride to school, and I can only hope that after trudging the four and a half blocks to school that she will be in a better mood.
[And it turned out that the gloves belong to her visiting brother (who currently lives in the US).]