Sunday, April 28, 2013

Erica Wants Everything

Erica Simms had a lot of things. She had dolls. She had stuffed animals. She had games. She had puzzles. She had more toys than anybody could possibly want or need. At least that's what Erica's Mom and Dad thought. Erica, however, didn't think so. She always wanted more. Every time, Erica saw a commercial or looked through a magazine or went to a friend's house and saw a new toy she wanted it. Mommy and Daddy were really tired of it.

"Mommy!" exclaimed Erica excitedly one afternoon pointing to the television. "I want a Barbie's dream house."

"Erica, " replied Mommy. "you already have a Loving Family doll house."

"But mommy!" whined Erica. "The Barbie Dream House has an elevator."

"So you don't want your Loving Family House anymore?" asked Mommy. Erica shook her head. "Okay." said Mommy. She went to the garage and got some big black garbage bags. She put Erica's doll house and all her doll house furniture and people into the bags.

Erica clapped her hands excitedly. "Oh Mommy!" she said. "When do I get my Dream House?"

Mommy looked at Erica, and shook her head. "You said you didn't want your doll house anymore so I took care of it. I didn't say I was getting you a new doll house." Mommy carted the now full garbage bags back out to the garage. Erica just watched her. She was too stunned to say anything.

A few days later, Erica came home from a playdate at a friend's house. "Mommy!" she exclaimed jealously. "Evie has a baby doll that grows a tooth."

"You've got plenty of baby dolls. " replied Mommy calmly. She barely looked up from the magazine she was leafing through.

"I don't have a baby doll that grows a tooth!" pouted Erica. "I hate all my baby dolls! I want a baby doll that grows a tooth too!"

"I see." said Mommy. She closed her magazine and left it on the table. She went to the garage and got a bunch more big black garbage bags. She loaded up all Erica's baby dolls in the garbage bags and carried them out to the garage. Erica's jaw dropped and her big brown eye's opened wide, but she didn't say a word.

After about a week later, Erica's didn't have so many toys anymore. In fact, her room looked kind of empty.  Mommy found her in her room crying in her bed. "What's the matter?" she asked with concern.

"I miss my toys!" cried Erica. "I want my Loving Family House!"

"But it isn't a Barbie Dream House." pointed out Mommy.

"I don't care!" exclaimed Erica. Mommy went to the garage and got Erica's doll house and everything that went with it. She gave it all back to Erica. Erica stopped crying. She smiled and hugged her doll house. "I want my baby dolls!" she said.

"But none of them grow a tooth." Mommy reminded her.

"I don't care they're my babies." said Erica, "and I miss them.

Mommy went to the garage and got all the bags with Erica's baby dolls and brought them in. Erica carefully took the baby dolls out of the bags and hugged and kissed each one.

Before long, Erica had all her toys back, and she was so happy. That night when they were watching TV, she saw a commercial for a new game. "That is so cool!" she said excitedly. "I want that game!" She looked at Mommy. Mommy looked as though she was ready to get up from the couch and start taking away Erica's stuff again so Erica quickly added. "Maybe, some day I'll get that game, but right now I really love all the games I already have." She smiled at Mommy. Mommy smiled back, and they continued watching TV.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Other People's Things

Orleigh Anderson was a girly girly. She loved to dress up. She loved to wear make up even though because of her young age, her mother only let her wear lip gloss and nail polish. Most of all she loved jewelry especially shiny sparkly jewelry. She would sit in front of her mother's dressing table for hours trying on her mother's jewelry. Her favorite piece was a necklace with sparkly colored stones on a thick gold chain. Orleigh couldn't wait to grow up and have beautiful jewelry like that of her own.

One afternoon, Orleigh was playing dress up. She was pretending she was a beautiful princess. She put on her favorite dress up dress. It was pinky and flowery. She put on  her favorite dress up shoes.They were pink too and had big pink bows. She brushed her hair and put a pretty pink ribbon in it. She put on a little lip gloss. Then, she looked in the mirror to admire herself. Something was definitely missing. She stared at herself in the mirror for a while.

"I know." she said finally. "I need some jewelry." She pulled her musical jewelry box off of the shelf and emptied it on to the floor. She searched through every piece of jewelry she owned and then frowned. Not one piece of jewelry she owned looked good enough for a princess.

Then, she thought of Mommy's sparkly stone necklace. That would be perfect! Orleigh knew she was not allowed to use Mommy's jewelry without permission. However, she couldn't stop thinking about how good it would look on her with her dress up clothes. She hurried quietly into Mommy's room. She wasn't going to take the necklace, she was just going to try it on and see how it looked with her outfit. She quietly slid open Mommy's jewelry drawer and pulled out the necklace. The sun shined through the window making the necklace really sparkle. Orleigh slipped the necklace around her neck and looked in the mirror. It was perfect and beautiful just like she knew it would be.

Just then, she heard a voice calling her. It was her mother, "Orleigh! Orleigh!" she said angrily. "Get down here! I have been calling you for ten minutes! It's time for lunch!"  Orleigh didn't want to make her mother even angrier. She forgot all about the necklace and hurried down to lunch.

That night Mommy and Daddy were going out to dinner for their anniversary. Orleigh was going to be staying with a babysitter. Orleigh excitedly watched Mommy get ready. Mommy looked so beautiful in her pretty white dress. She pinned her hair up in a bun with a couple of pins and put make up on. Then, she reached into her jewelry drawer and took out a pair of colorful stone earrings. She reached into her jewelry drawer again and came up empty handed. She frowned. She searched all through the drawer and then frowned again. She looked up at Orleigh. She did not look at all happy. "Orleigh," she said very slowly as if trying to keep herself from getting angry. "Were you playing with my colored stone necklace?"

Orleigh swallowed hard, but didn't say anything. Her mother glared at her. Finally, Orleigh nodded slowly and hung her head down.

"Then, where is it?" asked her mother. She didn't sound so much angry as disappointed. That was almost worse.

Orleigh suddenly remembered that she hadn't taken the necklace off. She reached her hands up to her neck, but the necklace was gone. Orleigh gasped.

"What's wrong?" asked Mommy. Her voice was a mixture of anger and concern.

"I'm sorry, mommy." cried Orleigh throwing herself at her mother's feet and begging for forgiveness.

"Orleigh." said Mommy quietly and calmly as she lifted up Orleigh's chin and forced her to look right in Mommy's eyes. "What do I always tell you about other people's things?"

"Don't touch other people's things without permission." replied Orleigh with a sigh.

"Because?" prompted Mommy.

"Because I wouldn't want anybody touching my things without permission." answered Orleigh. Just then she  spied something sparkly on the floor under Mommy's dressing table. She got down on her hands and knees and reached under the table and pulled out Mommy's necklace. "Mommy!" she said excitedly handing the necklace to her mother.

Mommy took the necklace and slid it around her neck. "This is not over. " she said. "I am happy you found my necklace again, but we are still going to have to discuss a punishment for you for taking it in the first place."

"I know, Mommy." replied Orleigh. Right now, she didn't even care she was just so relieved that the necklace had been found.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jeannie the Queen of the World

Jeannie Morris was very bossy. She was always telling her little sister, Jessie what to do. "Let's play Barbies." she said.

"I would rather play pet shops." said Jessie.

Jeannie shook her head. "No, we are playing Barbies." she insisted.

"Who died and left you Queen of the World, Jeannie? asked Jessie resentfully.

However, in the end they did what Jeannie wanted like they always did.

Jeannie was bossy with her friends too. She decided what they would do, where they would do it and for how long they would do it. "I'm tired of watching this show." she would say to her best friends, Ruby and Elinor as they sat on the couch after school watching TV together, "Change the channel." And, they did. They knew better than to argue. Even when the tried to give a different opinion than Jeannie's Jeannie would give them an angry look, and they would instantly back down.

Life went along happily and peacefully. At least Jeannie thought so. Until Ophelia Rayburn moved to town. Jeannie wanted to like Ophelia. She really did. She considered herself a nice friendly girl. She and Ruby and Elinor went over to Ophelia's house at their first opportunity. "Hello." she said warmly. "I'm Jeannie and this is Ruby and Elinor." she added pointing to her friends.

Ophelia seemed nice enough at first. "Hello." she said back equally as warmly. "I'm Ophelia."

"Would you like to come over to my house with us?" asked Jeannie.

"Let's play in my backyard." said Ophelia. She did not say it as if it were a suggestion. Jeannie gave her an angry look that would have instantly melted Ruby or Elinor, but Ophelia didn't even blink. "Come on let's go." Ophelia urged. Ruby and Elinor who were used to taking orders followed immediately. Not wanting to be left out, Jeannie reluctantly followed too.

In the backyard, Jeannie tried to take back control of the situation. "Let's go on the swing set." she said and she did not mean it as a suggestion.

"Let's built a sand castle in my sandbox." said Ophelia. She did not mean it as a suggestion either. Jeannie glared at her. Ophelia starred right back at Jeannie. Ruby and Elinor hesitated for a minute but eventually followed Ophelia. It was her house after all. Jeannie went along too. She did not like to be left out even more than she did not like to not be in control. She was not happy to go along though. She did not like that Ophelia. She did not like her at all.

Finally, it was time for Ophelia to go inside. "Goodbye," she called out as she went into her house. "Thanks for coming. We'll play again tomorrow."

"Goodbye." replied Ruby and Elinor. They didn't seem upset at all. In fact, they seemed to like Ophelia. Jeannie couldn't understand it. She held her tongue and said nothing.

As soon as they had moved away from Ophelia's house, Jeannie could hold her tongue no longer. "I don't like that Ophelia." she said angrily.

"Why?" asked Ruby.

"She seems like a nice girl." added Elinor. They seemed surprised that Jeannie didn't like Ophelia.

"She is just so bossy." replied Jeannie surprised that she even had to tell them. She couldn't believe that they couldn't see it for themselves. "We always have to do what she wants to do."

Ruby and Elinor exchanged looks. Then, they burst out laughing.

Jeannie didn't see what was so funny. "What's with you two?" she asked a little more angry than curious.

Ruby and Elinor instantly stopped laughing. "Oh, Jeannie." Ruby said very seriously. "You are exactly the same way." Elinor bobbed her head up and down in agreement.

"No, I am not!" Jeannie insisted.

"You really are." replied Elinor although she didn't say it with anger. "I mean can you think of one single time ever that we did what Ruby or I wanted to do and not what you wanted to do?"

Jeannie instantly opened her mouth to defend herself. "There was the time --" she said, but she didn't say anything else. She realized she couldn't think of any time ever that they did what Ruby or Elinor wanted to do instead of what she wanted to do. She hung her head sadly. She was not a good friend at all. She was just like that awful Ophelia.

Ruby and Elinor immediately came to her defense. "Don't get us wrong." said Ruby. "We love you and your our friend."

"Yes." added Elinor, "But it would be nice if you weren't always so bossy."

Jeannie instantly felt much better. She had the best friends in the world. She surely didn't deserve them, but from now on she was going to do much better or at least she hoped so. "I'll try." she promised.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Happy Flower

Zara McKenzie was feeling sad and blue. It was raining outside, and she had nothing to do. She had a fight with her best friend, Jolie Abbott. There was nothing on TV. It was just generally a bad day.

"What's the matter?" asked her mother.

"I just feel sad today." replied Zara with a sigh.

"Why don't you read a book?" suggested her mother.

"I don't feel like it." replied Zara.

"Why don't you play with your toys?"

"I don't feel like it." replied Zara again.

"Why don't you call Jolie?"

Zara glared at her mother. "We are not speaking." she said.

"So, " said her mother. "You are just going to sit there all day and feel sorry for yourself?"

"Maybe," replied Zara.

Her mother shook her head sadly and left the room. Zara resumed staring out the window.

A little while later, Grandma arrived. "How is my beautiful granddaughter?" she asked cheerfully kissing Zara on the cheek.

"Hi Grandma." replied Zara not nearly as cheerfully as she quickly rubbed the traces of Grandma's lipstick off her cheek.

"Well that doesn't sound like a very cheerful hello." said Grandma. "What is the matter?"

"I'm just sad today, Grandma." Zara told her.

"I have just the thing to cheer you up." said Grandma.

"You do?" asked Zara in surprise. She just felt so sad today. She didn't really think there was anything Grandma could do to make her feel better.

"Sure I do. " replied Grandma. She opened her big pocketbook and took out a pink plastic flower pinned to a hairclip. "Here." she said to Zara. "This is my happy flower. Whenever I wear it, I feel better. I don't need it today so you can borrow it."

Zara shook her head. "No thanks, Grandma. I don't think a flower is going to make me feel better." Grandma didn't listen. She proceeded to pin the flower to Zara's hair.

"Now look at yourself you're beautiful." Grandma insisted. Zara didn't want to but Grandma put a mirror in front of her face, and she couldn't help seeing herself in it.

"I  do look pretty." she said. She felt a little better but not much.

By now, it had stopped raining. Zara and Grandma decided to go for a walk. On the way, they walked right past Jolie's house. Jolie was standing on the driveway as they went by. "I like your flower." she called to Zara as she passed.

"Thanks." replied Zara.

Jolie ran up to her. "I don't remember what we were fighting about, but I'm sorry."

Zara smiled. "I don't remember either, and I'm sorry too." she said.

"I'll see you tomorrow?" asked Jolie.

"Yes." replied Zara. "I'll see you tomorrow." She and Grandma continued walking.

Finally, they arrived home. It was just about dinner time. Mommy asked Zara to help Grandma set the table in the dining room. Zara grabbed a handful of silverware from the kitchen drawer. As she went past the big mirror in the hallway, she saw her reflection.The flower was gone from her hair. "Oh no." she said worriedly. "Grandma I lost your happy flower."

Grandma smiled. "Don't worry." she said. "It was just an ordinary flower. There is no such thing as a happy flower. Happiness is not something that just comes to us. Happiness is something that we have to look for."

Zara shook her head at Grandma. "But, then why did you tell me it was a happy flower?"

"If I told you, you had to find your own happiness would you have believed me?"

Zara shook her head again. "No, I wouldn't." she admitted. Just then she spied a bit of pink on the dining room floor. She leaned down and picked it up. It was the flower. "Look, Grandma!" she said excitedly. "I found it! Can I keep it?"

"You do know it isn't really a happy flower and it can't make you happy all by itself?" asked Grandma.

"But it does make happy." replied Zara with a smile. "Not because it is brings me happiness or anything like that. It makes me happy because it reminds me of you because you gave it to me."

Now, it was Grandma's turn to smile. She hugged her granddaughter. "You're a very smart girl."

"I take after you." replied Zara.