Last night, Katie undressed for bed. Wearing nothing but her underwear, she gathered her dirty laundry and took it to the crowded bathroom to properly deposit it in the hamper. Fritz greets her by singing, "I see London; I see France; I see Katie's underpants." Katie dissolves into tears and comes into the room where I am directing bedtime traffic from the rocking chair.
"Go put your pajamas on, Katie," was all I replied.
Honestly, what does she expect? Yes, I also chastised Fritz for teasing - his current raison d'etre. But 99 times out of 100 Katie leaves her dirty clothes on the floor of her bedroom. It seems to be the natural instinct of little girls to do precisely what is right at exactly the wrong moment to achieve the greatest grief and consternation for everyone, including themselves. And then she plays the role of victim, when really it was all her own doing. I don't think that I do this, but every other person I've known to behave this way was female.
I believe God gives every child to exactly the right parents. Sometimes it is that a parent who struggled with some issue - like socks that must be on just so - is the only sort of person who could tolerate a child's obsession with that issue. Sometimes it's that a parent who despises a certain behavior is the only sort of person who could work to weed that behavior out of a child, lovingly of course. The former seems to be the case most between my son, Billy, and me. The latter seems to be the way it is with me and Katie.
It is my hope that by her adulthood, Katie will learn to foresee the consequences of her actions and choose to avoid roiling the pot instead of reveling in the mayhem. And, definitely, I hope she stops prancing around in her panties, too!