Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Me and Emma

Normally, I do my Wal-Marting on Monday, but yesterday I went quilting. You may remember a few weeks back I posted that Jeramie had proposed to Rebekah. That means our church fellowship will be making a wedding ring quilt. The ladies gathered yesterday to do the first of the cutting and sewing. I am usually a cutter. I can sew, but I don’t want the responsibility and hassle. There are better sewers, and things need to be really good for the quilt. Wedding ring quilts have lots of little pieces that need to be cut for the sewers, and that is where I come in. The ladies also need a designated smart aleck to keep them in line, or they might take life too seriously and think too highly of themselves. I keep those things from happening.

I was busy cutting when ten-year-old Emma sat next to me wanting to help with the quilt. I showed her how to cut the pieces and then separate them in to "right B’s and left B’s." Since it is not difficult, I assumed she could do it easily. But when she took the B’s to her Nana, Nana told her she was doing it wrong. Emma said, "Lou told me to do it that way!" Now you know that I did not tell her wrong and having a ten-year-old blame me for her mistakes was a bit irritating. Some of the other ladies teased me about it, which was funny. I patiently re-showed Emma how to lay out the B’s, but once again, she mixed her right B’s and left B’s. And once again, she blamed her mistakes on my teaching. This time I said, "Look here Emma, if you keep ratting me out, I gonna take you outside and beat you up!" Emma loved that. They were needing more B's, so I switched over and started cutting B’s with Emma. That way I could show her how to do it and keep an eye on her. She did great, although she did get tired and a bit lackadaisical. Cutting is hard, boring work - I didn't blame her for wanting out of the cutting business.

Later in the afternoon, Emma and some of the other little girls were going to the convenience store to get cokes for everyone. Remember that here in OK, you say that you are going to get a "Coke," but you may mean a Dr. Pepper or Sprite. I helped Emma write out a list of what everyone wanted from the store. I wrote out that I wanted a Diet Pepsi in a bottle and explained to Emma that was what I wanted. There were only about five drinks on the list – most of them soft drinks and one V8. When the girls came back from the store, they had decided to buy all fountain drinks and the V8. You know, I’m really not a whiney baby, but I don’t like fountain drinks. In fact, I don’t like ice. I like for a drink to be cold, but I don’t like to hassle with ice. Some people like to chomp on their ice, but not me. Even when I order a margarita, I like it "up" - no ice. I love Diet Pepsi, but I try to drink only one a day, since they are not so good for you. I savor my one DP in a bottle, and Emma had bought me a fountain drink saying it was "easier." All sorts of things went through my mind at this point. If it had been my own kid, I probably would have given her heck about it. I wanted to say, "You mean you could walk back to the cooler and get a bottle of V8, but not a DP?" or "Why did you ask me what I wanted if you were going to get me what you thought I needed?" I probably should have just let it slide and taken the fountain drink, but I didn’t. I told Emma that I didn’t want a fountain drink and that I would not drink it. Then I felt like such a heel, and yet I couldn’t help myself. A little while later Emma brought me a DP in a bottle. Lindz had made her go back to the store. And Lindz drank the fountain drink. Thanks Lindz.

I don’t know what everyone thought about my little fit throwing. Maybe I was being a baby. Maybe Emma needed to not always take the "easier" route. Maybe I need to "get over it."

The whole episode reminded me of another time when something like this happened. Back when I was a waitress at Texas Red’s in RR, at the end of the evening we all had a "shift drink" on the house. It was a good time for us waitresses to kick back and visit with each other relaxing at the end of the night. One of us waitresses would take everyone’s shift drink order. Most of us waitresses liked to have a margarita, but we all had our preferences. Some liked their drinks on the rocks or no ice or frozen. Some liked their drink with no salt or sometimes sugar on the rim. One night I took everyone’s order and then went down to the bar. When I handed the orders to the bartender, he ripped in to me big time. He did not want to have to make all of the different margaritas, and he opened up on me with both barrels. I remember standing there while he chewed me out. I had lots of thoughts running through my mind that time too. Some of my thoughts were similar to my thoughts with Emma, but most were more like, "How would you like a black eye?" Instead, I just handed him the order list and walked off. He made the margaritas to everyone’s liking. He probably knew that some of the waitresses would really give him a black eye if he did not do things right.

Maybe my reaction to Emma’s fountain drink was a flashback from my past.


Buck said...

Maybe your reaction was a flashback, maybe not. But it was correct. Ten year olds are deep in the learning process and part of that process is learning how to follow instructions and above all: Pay Attention. Good habits (and bad) are formed early on and good role models are necessary.

I think ya done good. So did Lindz. :D

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

There is a reason for older women instructing younger... In matters of spiritual and practical. Paying attention to detail is part of that learned legacy. The difficult part of it is instructing in patience, especially to ones who don't necessarily give heed to what is given. Keep investing with a 'pay it forward' mindset...who knows what the future holds for her in this particular day of instruction? Perhaps she'll remember the cutting, perhaps the cokes...but when she's 17 and brings you an ice cold DP in a bottle you'll know you made an impression.

Bag Blog said...

Buck and Piper,
I, too, thought that Emma needed instruction, but with her Nana there, I kind of wanted to see if she would give the instruction instead of me. I really did not do well - Emma will probably look back to this day and think that I was rather picky. Lindz is the hero here.

Mrs Bear said...

Well...I would like to remind you of something you told me years ago..about raising children...You told me that you felt that if you did not raise you children to where adults enjoyed being around them that you are doing your children a great disservice...I kinda think that this day of quilting falls into that category. If your child is given an assignment in school do you feel it is ok for them to just do their own thing...it is important for children to learn to go by instruction...if you can't do that you will not be able to keep a job and as far as putting the blame on another person for your misbehavior...unacceptable.