My daughter asked me to make her a crochet thing then proceeded to hand me a piece of paper. Obviously, there was a disconnect. By asking a few questions, I found out she was wanting what they call a Cootie Catcher or an Origami Fortune Teller. I couldn’t help her with the project at the time, so she buzzed off to another fun adventure, making mud pies.
I tackled my to do list and had a moment, which I took to make a Cootie Catcher, with the help of an online video with a grade school girl demonstrating the fine art. I had made them myself years ago, but I wanted to see if it was different somehow. Nope, same thing. It’s amazing to think that something I played with as a child, a homemade paper fortune teller that made my friends squeal when they didn’t get the answer they wanted, is something my daughter plays with as well. I even put the colors, numbers and “fortunes” in the Cootie Catcher before taking it outside to Greta.
Greta had since forgotten her mud pies and the kitchen bowl she had borrowed, because the neighbor’s granddaughter was outside playing and that was more important. “Greta!” I called to her and face and tone when she answered indicated she wasn’t happy that I was interrupting her playtime with her friend. “Come get this!” She strained to see the small object in my hands. “What is it?” I had it on my fingers and demonstrated a few of the flips back and forth of the paper triangles. She squealed with delight. “I thought you weren’t going to make one for me.” I reminder her that I couldn’t right then.
Greta has shared the Cootie Catcher with the neighbor girl and now they have come to play mud pies together. I can see why Greta didn’t know the exact name of the toy she had wanted, because she zips from one thing to another. That’s not what is important to her. What matters is having fun – in the moment. It wasn’t a big deal to Greta that she said Crochet thing for something made out of paper. It was the anticipation of the fun and excitement she would have with the toy.
My sons, however, do not share Greta’s philosophy. Every T must be crossed and every i must be dotted. Period. If you don’t know what to ask for, you shouldn’t be asking for it. They will spend more time correcting their little sister than they will playing with her. This is where my wonderful referee skills come in. I have to convince the free spirit and the two perfectionists that they could all learn to appreciate each other.
I don’t mind making a “crochet” thing for Greta, even if she doesn’t use the right name. For a moment I was her hero, because I put a smile on her face and a squeal in her voice and a much desired toy in her hands. If only it could always be this simple to be her hero.