Yesterday my three year old gave a loud sigh as she was cleaning up. "Mommy," she groaned with the weight of the world, "if I don't go to the party soon, it will be all over." Please note this was an imaginary party. Before she went to the playroom to have this party I had requested (quite reasonably) that she clean up the play restaurant she'd created on the living room couch. Obviously cleaning up faster wasn't a part of her solution to the 'party will be over soon' play scheme. The only solution was for me to release her of her heavy burden so she and her imaginary party-friends could get out all of the dress up clothes before they decided they were late to something else.
The evil mother shrugged her shoulders and responded, "Oh no! Well, you'd better clean up faster then!"
The groan that followed made even the one year old stop emptying out the contents of my purse to see what was wrong.
In that moment I suddenly felt for Cinderella's step mother. Who really knows what happened there. How many times had she asked Cinderella to do those chores? Maybe she set out a clear list of reasonable chores that needed to be accomplished before Cinderella could go and it was Cindi's responsibility to manager her time and follow through on her tasks. But she got side tracked playing with the birds and singing songs and suddenly she had to live with her logical consequence. Maybe her step sisters had done their chores on time and hadn't run around the room singing, totally ignoring their mother. Maybe Cinderella had made the massive mess than she was asked to clean up, and maybe she copped an attitude when she was told she had to clean it up before going to the party.
Or maybe I've been home on summer break for a bit too long...