Sunday, February 22, 2009

Accountability and One-upmanship

Buzz and Aslan spend much of their time at home together bouncing back and forth between being inseparable conspirators and archrivals for entertainment, attention and independence. One afternoon this past week, Aslan couldn’t wait for Buzz to get home from preschool, I suspect at least in part because she’d been promised that snack time would immediately follow. A bowl of goldfish for them can be a handful of skit participants as well as sustenance, but on this occasion I guess they were too hungry. Instead, they launched a creative enterprise at the kitchen table with a box of crayons between them. They were ignoring the stack of drawing paper that lives next to the table in favor of acting out scenes with the crayons as characters. Loudly. So I thought I could go upstairs for a few minutes to read the manual for our garage door opener to look for a solution to the issue of our remote suddenly starting to open the neighbor’s door as well as ours.

I should have known not to be so complacent, but I thought I would have more then five minutes before Buzz was yelling upstairs that Aslan was writing on the walls. Sure enough, our resident lion had gotten bored with the game and gone looking for new horizons to decorate, settling for scribbling all over the wall of the main level powder room. I went back to the table to pack up the crayons to discover that she’d done a fair number on the table too; so much for the paper.

It was time to get dinner on, so I didn’t worry about the crayon marks at the time, short of assuring Aslan that she was indeed in trouble for breaking the rule that drawing is only for paper and never walls. Recognition that she’s in the doghouse didn’t quite remove the impish grin inspired by all the attention she got, but she managed to put on a fair approximation of a properly abashed apology. Buzz, probably hoping for a more dramatic reaction from the Doc, flew downstairs at the sound of the opening garage door to give him a full report of her sister’s misdeeds. I’m not sure whether she was more interested in retribution for the defection of her partner from the crayon puppet theater or just excited about the prospect of getting to see the withering reprimand that was surely forthcoming from Dad. Either way she was disappointed, as I told him that Aslan and I had already discussed it and that she would help me clean the wall later.

Buzz did get a little more satisfaction when at dinner Aslan started whining because there were still crayon marks on the table. A tad irritated, I looked her right in the eye and asked, “And whose fault is that?”

She looked back at the table, considered a moment, then slowly raised her hand. She didn’t complain any more about the marks.


  1. This is pretty funny. Did you ever figure out how to keep your garage door remote from opening two garage doors? I could see that getting you into some trouble.

  2. Yep, the garage door problem turned out to be a simple matter of reprogramming our own remotes. The neighbors had recently reprogrammed theirs, and I'm guessing I must have driven by and hit my own button at precisely that moment. Go figure.