Emma Knows Best

This past Christmas I bought Em a snow fort.  Em loves bouncy castles and the snow fort looks a bit like a bouncy castle.  It seemed like an excellent idea at the time, except that it was missing a key component – it didn’t bounce.  It’s one of those gifts that looks good when you receive it, but once it’s been constructed it’s not so interesting.  Even I wondered, once we’d blown it up and put it out in the snow, now what?  What exactly does a kid do inside a snow fort?   Em was a trooper and sat inside it for a minute or two before extracting herself.

Em's Snow Fort

“No, it’s not a bouncy castle,” Emma said shaking her head as she wandered back into the house.

I stood there looking at it for a minute before following her.

“It doesn’t bounce,” I told Richard.

“Right.  It is without bounce,” Richard reiterated.

“And it’s not even a castle,” I added.

“It’s an inflated dome,” Richard said.

“It’s basically a piece of colored plastic,” I replied.

“What were you thinking?” Richard grinned at me.

I could interrupt this dialogue by going on at length about how Richard has the single best smile of any human being I’ve ever met, how when he grins these little dimples appear that take my breath away, how I can become so distracted I lose track of time, thought, words… I could do that, but I won’t.

Theatrical pause and winsome smile.  

Now where was I?  Oh yes, thinking… what was I thinking?  Well, the truth is I didn’t think it through.  I was thinking about her love of bouncy castles and how this looked sort of like one.  I remembered over the summer how we’d gone to our local YMCA to play on the bouncy castle they’d set up for a limited time and how the guy setting it up didn’t know how to operate it and finally Emma had to tell him.  At first he didn’t pay attention to her, probably assuming she didn’t know what she was talking about because of her non-fluency with language.

“What’s she trying to tell him?” another mom asked me as we watched from across the room.

“She’s telling him that he needs to tie the other end and that he has the air pump attached to the wrong tube, but he won’t listen to her,” I explained.

“Should we go over?” the mom asked.

“I already did.  I told him to listen to her, but he seems to believe he knows what he’s doing,” I said.  “I’m betting on my daughter.  She is rarely wrong about things like this,” I added.

“I’m betting on your daughter too,” the other mom said.  The guy fumbled some more with the defeated looking, semi-inflated bouncy castle as Emma looked on with an exasperated expression.

Finally he did as Emma instructed with a little help from me and the other mother, and the bouncy castle was, well, bouncy as it was meant to be.  Emma was ecstatic and soon joined by a dozen other kids all screaming and bouncing together.

That’s what I was “thinking”.

Moral to the story ~ A brightly colored inflatable plastic dome is not the same as a brightly colored inflatable plastic bouncy castle.

Feel free to add your own wisdom to this story or add your own story…

21 responses to “Emma Knows Best

  1. That guy should have listened. Adults.. what are ya gonna do?

  2. That is pretty funny, in many ways! It reminds me of several years ago when one of my son’s, then in kindergarden, shopped at the school’s Santa’s Secret Shop all by himself. He proudly told me he had picked out the very best of ALL the presents for me. It had moving water and sparkly glitter that “snowed!” It was a miniature plastic snow globe with silver glitter and a plastic sign (the main and only attraction in this dome) that said “world’s best grandpa!” Many years have passed and the water is almost entirely evaporated, but this very special Christmas present still sits on my dresser next to the picture of another son playing piano – a son who played in Carnegie Hall. We are lucky to be mom’s to the kids we have – gifts on loan to us for a season. I hope we love, care for them and nurture them in the best way possible regardless of what we were thinking on some days! Thanks for a terrific post that we can all relate to!

  3. Oh my gosh, Emma getting ignored by the bouncy castle guy is like my childhood in a nutshell. Actually, it’s a bit like my adulthood too. 😉

    When I saw the inflatable snow fort, my first thought was how much fun it would be to tip it over on its side and roll down a hill in it. It probably wouldn’t last long, but it would be a hell of a ride while it did.

    • I swear the world would be better if NTs were not in the majority…

      Also, I LOVE the idea of rolling it down the hill. We could do that! I am going to propose it when we go back out.

  4. Blow it up in her bedroom and tell her it’s a teepee, maybe she can sleep in there, or something!

    “It is without bounce” – officially my favorite quote of the day! 🙂

    If it makes you feel any better, we have spent God knows how much money on toys or things we thought Marisa would love. 99% of it she completely ignores. I’d say she has about 10-12 favorite toys, some of which she’s had since she was a baby. Right now we’re trying to stick with anything that makes cool lights or has music, and that’s been going pretty well so far.

    Oh, and I forgot to tell you! Risa knows her alphabet now! Her teacher told me she did. Yesterday at the dr’s office while waiting we were playing with one of those drawing board toys. I would write three letters at random, and ask her to identify a certain letter. She did it correctly each and every time! And she’d even choose wrong and then giggle about it! It was great. Letter recognition is the first step to writing words and typing, right? Not that we don’t have a long road ahead. It’s always amazed me that language is based on something so simple as 26 letters. And she knows them now! The possibilities seem….well, possible someday. 🙂

    • Ang – not only am I NOT surprised that Risa knows her alphabet, but I’ll bet there’s a great deal more she knows too!
      PS Em did not learn the alphabet first. She learned words without ever knowing the names of the letters, that came later! 🙂

  5. Remember too, and I say this having worked with numerous contractors, a lot of guys don’t like women telling them how to fix/build things. They seem think the understanding of mechanics and construction somehow is embedded only in the Y chromosome!. 🙂

  6. Inside… with a blanket it would make a pretty cool coyote den/sensory hideout! Ooooowooohh! Or maybe a good place to read Franklin books. H would love it – tight spaces and all that being rather much a favourite.

    A little auditory input might make a nice addition. H just showed me this iPad app called iDream that he downloaded for free – it comes with river and ocean sounds, etc. and he has been listening to it at bedtime.
    Bu I am with Em… it is not a snowfort or a bouncy castle!

    Awesome story!

  7. The number of things I’ve gotten either of my kids that just weren’t “it” – well, let’s just say that I finally had to sit and have a talk with myself about it. We did once get him a “jumpolene” – which is safer than the little trampoline with handlebars (I think) – but within a month, he’d taken to mouthing it, and I knew what would happen next. Do you have *any* idea how hard it is to locate a tiny tooth puncture on a huge inflatable? Now he has a real, regular trampoline in the back yard. That he enjoys lying down and staring up at the sky in, lol.
    He’s 11 today…and I think we’re going to focus on giving him the things we KNOW he loves. He asked for pizza for supper, and I’m going to fill the house with red balloons for him to bounce on and pop. That’s about as much as he really wants (unless we count the swimming party he’s impatiently awaiting).

  8. Trish Warren-Atlas

    Looks more like a yellow igloo to me … And you know what they say about yellow snow! …. 😉

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