Monday, February 2, 2009

Not as high as it used to be

.
Jay and I picked up this simple woven pen holder during a trip to Thailand (Jay has just informed me that he bought it from the crazy old lady in Chiang Mai with teeth stained dark red from what had to have been many decades of chewing betel nuts) back before we had children. It was never anything particularly special, just a place to stick all those odd pens that seem to accumulate around a house. For years it sat on the counter within easy reach, ready for that number that just had to be jotted down right away.
.
Later, when we had kids, it seemed imprudent to leave a large collection of pens just lying around for budding young artists to find, so in the interests of childproofing (and safeguarding our walls!) we stuck it up on top of the refrigerator. A bit awkward at times, but easier than worrying about who was getting into what. And it worked. For oh so many blissful years, it worked. If Itai, who is turning eight this month and quite old enough to be trusted with writing implements of all kinds, needed to write or draw he'd either grab a pencil from his backpack or ask me to get one down, content in his knowledge that the world would bend itself to meet his every need.
.
Maya, who is just five, is cut from a different cloth. No first child little emporer syndrome here, she is the queen of I'll Do It Myself Land. It's a very different sort of country than the one we used to live in - sometimes exciting, sometimes frustrating, rarely dull.
.
The other day I heard a noise in the kitchen and turned around to find that Maya had dragged one of those tall kitchen stools you see in my header over to the refrigerator, climbed up, and taken down the pen holder. When asked why, she calmly explained that she needed the red pencil it held.
.
Even after nearly eight years of living on this planet it would never have occurred to my older child that he could actually drag a chair over to the refrigerator, climb up, and take down whatever he wants.
.
Maya constantly pushes the envelope. She doesn't accept unwanted limitations and she perserveres until she succeeds. Ultimately, I'm confident these qualities will take her far in life.
.
In the meantime though I'm going to hide the keys to the car.
.
Visit Ruby Tuesday for more ruby red stories.
.

42 comments:

ilanadavita said...

Nice shot of a nice pot.

Andrea said...

Such a wonderful story. I laughed and chuckled all the way through. A spirited child some might call her. But the questions is.....where does the pen holder live now?
Thanks so much for sharing. Made my day! A~

maryt/theteach said...

Wouldn't it be the youngest and the girl who would push the envelope like that! Right on, Maya! Yes, and hide the keys to the car for a little while longer! Ha! :) Happy Ruby Tuesday, Leora!

maryt/theteach said...

Oh Robin, I made a mistake you are not Leora and I know that... Forgive me - I get confused sometimes! Ha! :)

angie said...

I have to keep everything under lock and key from my twins too. It's crazy how different kids are! Pens and gum are the hot tickets in this house! :)

Cheryl said...

LOL-Hide the keys, great idea! I have 2 boys-both are like Maya..I blame their father :) They're always pushing the envelope, figuring out how to get into whatever they need/want. In fact my 16 MONTH old always finds our keys-wherever we hide them because he loves to press the red panic button. I bet our neighbors LOVE to hear our car alarm going off all hours of the day!

Ralph said...

We use a mug to hold all pens and markers. However, as the thing fills up, it seems that by the time we need a pen, they all seem to have dried out just when you need it most!

Kids need to have a sense of independence, but we all hope that the younger they are they don't push the envelope too far...

Felisol said...

Hello Robin,
your story fit right in the latest novel I've read, The House that Nino built by Giovanni Guareschi. His two children, born in the late forties seems to be spiritual twins to yours.
How very charming.
From Felisol

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Robin,
I have two daughters and they are soooo different from each other. It's part of their charm and part of what makes being a mother so much fun. ;-)

My Ruby Tuesday post is at my alternate blog More Of Me
http://moreofme24.blogspot.com/

Janet said...

hmmm...Maya sounds a lot like you :-)

Catherine said...

Beware the walls given Maya is a little girl so inventive. But where can you hide the pot higher than on the fridge ? Robin, you have to be inventive too.
Anyway, I like this story, two children, two different tempers.

"Sunshine" said...

Loved the story--and the shot is cool too. I must be more like Maya than Itai--I was wondering all along why he didn't just grab a chair to reach the top of the fridge. Always worked for me ;) Good call on hiding the car keys...

Pia K said...

Cute story! I seem to remember I was the queen of my I'll Do It Myself World too - what a great expression btw! - that's of course the wise thing to be...;)

Carletta said...

When my son's teachers got my daughter two years later all I ever heard was 'she isn't like her brother!
Her qualities will indeed take her far!

Kay said...

Hee she is awesome.

I remember when one of my sisters discovered how to make stairs out of drawers... life was never the same.

Leora said...

Ah, children. Now, what happens if child in question is not your own and reaching for things? We had a child who insisted that she have the china we put at her father's setting. After gritted my teeth when she nearly tipped one of my difficult to replace soup bowls, I stated that children do not use china in our house, end of story. Tears flowed, but the china lived.

OK, enough responding to a story with one of my own! Great pen holder. Hope it survives their childhood and their friends.

Dawn on MDI said...

Go Maya!!
I suppose now might be the time to mention that this is the child who will hack into your blog, find your journal and read it and know the contents of every drawer and nook in your house - including your bedroom! Just a thought. You know how I think. What a great kid! She'll but heads with the world, but she will go far! Self-reliance is a marvelous thing to have, and her problem-solving skills will serve her well.

EastCoastLife said...

Lovely story.
I wish my son would push the envelope sometimes. For a boy, he's too polite and gentle.

napaboaniya said...

Nice woven pen holder :P

Maya reminds me of my daughter whose just like that, my boy is just like your son...

Lea said...

Just remember... where you put those keys!!!!

Great story Robin, and isn't it amazing to see how their personalities differ as they grow, becoming their own unique person!!!

Ginger said...

Your story is great, your daughter sounds adorable, but I really love your kitchen! I want to sit at your island and have a cup of coffee!

Eaton Bennett said...

The practicalities and priorities of life in a pen holder. I totally understand.

Children, although they might come from the same gene pool, that's where the similarities end isn't it!

Have a great RT!
Eaton. :)

Dirk said...

Yes I recognise this all. Although our little girl is only 19 months old, she uses kitchen stools to reach for the pen holder with pens in different colours, she loves to play with them... when we doesn't pay attention for a moment :-))

Nicole said...

Oh shucks :D
Glad you're hiding the car keys :D!
I think that girl's like me.
Why ask when she can do it herself ;)
Sweet story (well, besides my wishes of Best Luck that she stays safe!) and a cute pen holder box.
Happy Ruby Tuesday :)

Becky said...

You just described the difference in my DD#1 and DD#2. Amazing, isn't it? I like your basket.

My RT is posted here:
http://decolady-randommusings.blogspot.com/2009/02/ruby-tuesday.html

Please stop by if you get a chance.

Phyllis Sommer said...

at least she keeps your life interesting, dontcha think!?;-)

great story.

Neas Nuttiness said...

It never ceases to amaze me, how different kids can be.

Robin - does your kitchen always look that neat and clean?

Mojo said...

Oh my. That sounds an awful lot like a kid I knew 40-odd years ago. Or I guess it would be more accurate to say a kid my parents knew 40-odd years ago.

Seems like they kept the car keys stashed safely away too.

Dianne said...

I love the story. My son used to remove all the bedding from his crib, create a safe landing spot and then catapult himself over the railing

Never a dull moment

the pen holder is lovely

splummer said...

Hi!
Great Red Post! I loved your story, it made me laugh, and I think I would hide the care keys too. Have a great day!!

Sherrie

~Virginia~ said...

good call on the car keys! :)

Robin said...

No Libby, my kitchen is definitely not that clean all the time LOL.

The next chapter in the saga? Just a few minutes ago I found her sitting on top of the bathroom counter, towel in hand. She told me she'd "accidentally wasted water" and was cleaning it up!

I'm telling you, never a dull moment with this one...

Jill said...

I love independence... on everyone except my child!

My youngest sounds just like Maya. A true do-it-yourself-er. :)

Tink *~*~* said...

I was that way too, as a little girl. I caught hell for it frequently! Love your big red mixer!

Tink *~*~*

My Mobile Adventures *~*~* Presents: RED Stuff at the EPCOT Festivals in Walt Disney World

happily retired gal said...

I enjoyed this anecdote, today's photo, but couldn't miss the RED MIXER on your counter in the header. Very 'kewl' indeed.
Hugs and blessings,

Jientje said...

The Queen of I'll do it myself land!!! I loved that!
Great story and I love the angle you used for this picture!

Amber Star said...

Our youngest is like your daughter, too. Loved your story and wish my kitchen was that clean right now. eeps...slacking some this week.

Kelley said...

he he he.

Keeping my mouth zipped. But will say buy a lock.

*snigger*

Flea said...

I'm just nodding my head till I got to that last line about the car keys. You, my friend, are definitely in trouble. :)

Carol Anne said...

You go Maya!

You know its just that combination determination, problems solving and commons sense that will take your girl far in life!

Jennifer/moma4faith said...

Tee he he, a lady after my own heart!

RivkA with a capital A said...

LOL!!

I have one of those!

;-)

ps. the thought of them driving a car is just scary!!