Olivia’s not six yet, but almost. She’s at that stage where her little sister is only the best playmate when there’s no one else better to play with, where she is starting to take on things like going on her scooter to her park a few minutes ahead of us, or running home to grab a bottle of water that we’ve forgotten, getting the mail and hardly containing herself for excitement when her name is on it, and getting up before us in the morning, turning on Netflix and grabbing herself some cereal.
She’s also reached the point where a lot of the playdates include barbies, games and independent play happens outside of where I am, not in the main area of the house. Walking past the stairs hanging up laundry this week during one (because that’s all I ever seem to do when there’s a playdate these days) I overheard the two girls talking about Olivia’s piggy bank. It was $25 emptier after that morning, where she destroyed a game, and I took the money from her piggy bank to replace it – lesson learning and all, when I heard something that piqued my interest.
Six year olds are crappy whisperers, so I heard her friend advise her that she should just steal the money back from Violet’s piggy bank, when I wasn’t looking. Silenced, as I was getting ready to say something, Olivia told her no, and the story of how her money was taken away because she didn’t respect her stuff. I waited just a minute until they walked up the stairs.
She’s a great kid. She’s got insane high energy that makes me crazy, but we’ve raised her to be empathetic and ethical, respectful and confident. We’ve done a damn good job this far. She may be a mean sister from time to time, throw five-rager tantrums, but I know for a fact she knows that stealing money from her sister’s piggy bank is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Putting my adultier-adult hat on, I called Olivia downstairs and asked her what she was just told. After confirming what I heard, I called the other kid down that she wasn’t allowed to play inside anymore today because stealing isn’t something that we do.
As much as I explained to Olivia that it wasn’t her fault, that stealing was wrong, and that we need to be friends with people that help us make good decisions it was hard. Of course, at almost six it was as if she was being punished because she couldn’t play inside with her friend, and it wasn’t until today, a day later, that she came to me and understood, asking if she could go and ask another friend around the corner to come over and play in the back yard.
With six comes those first instances of seeing how well the values and teaching have taken to those little minds. With six comes these small glimpses into the future that make me wonder how many wine of the month clubs I’m going to have to join to get through them.