This afternoon I took Bella out to play while Sophia was having her nap. I sat in a chair on the porch while Bella wandered around, up and down the porch steps, playing in the pots full of dirt, pushing her wagon around, and waving sticks in the air. At one point she had a long stick, almost as tall as she is, and was waving it uncomfortably close to me. Just as I admonished her to watch out, she whacked my arm. I took the stick from her and tossed it off the porch and into the grass. She flung herself down on the porch and screamed.
“Well,” I said, “I told you to be careful and you hit mama. That hurt me. If you can’t be careful, the stick has to go. You still have the short stick.” But she eventually went down and retrieved the longest of the three pieces that her stick had broken into when it landed.
And some time later she was right back on the porch, waving it about again. And just as I was warning her, the stick flew up and hit her on the forehead. She got a stunned look on her face. Then she marched over to the porch steps and threw the stick down onto the sidewalk, as if to say: Take that! Because, of course, it was the stick’s fault.