Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
“Mommy, I think I made a mistake,” whispered five-year-old Cassie.
“Oh? What mistake did you make, Sweetheart?”
“Well, I think I made the dog throw up.” Cassie’s eyes were big round saucers, meltingly blue in an angelic face surrounded by golden ringlets.
“Really.” Cassie could tell by Mommy’s voice that she wasn’t happy. “And how did you manage to do that?”
“Well, see, I finded–found–this poor dead birdie under the tree in the back yard, and I showed it to Pooch. I, um, picked up the bird by the wing and threw it, and I think I said ‘go fetch.” And maybe that was a mistake, ’cause Pooch didn’t fetch. He ran and picked up the bird and he, um, ate it. All up.”
“Where did Pooch throw up the bird, Cassie?” Mommy’s eyes had that “you’re in trouble, young lady,” look in them. Cassie took a deep breath and said, “Um, I think–maybe in the living room? On the couch?”
Mommy stood very still. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “Come with me. You’re going to help clean this up. Then we’ll talk about what your punishment is going to be. You didn’t make a ‘mistake,’ Cassie, and you know it. You deliberately disobeyed. You know you’re never to feed Pooch anything–“
“But Mommy, I didn’t feed it to him, I just threw it–“
“Don’t interrupt me. That’s also disobedient. You know very well that Pooch eats things out in the yard that will make him sick. You knew when you told him to fetch that nasty dead bird that he would probably eat it. Didn’t you?”
By now, fat tears were leaking from those melting eyes down the angelic rosy cheeks. Cassie nodded her head. “Yes, I knew. I just sort of forgot. Are you mad at me, Mommy?”
“Yes, Cassie. I’m very mad at you.” Mommy had taken a scrub brush, some rags and soapy water, and a can of disinfectant spray to the living room. Cassie had been tasked with carrying and holding the trash bag, and she had to watch Mommy clean up the disgusting mess and scoop it into the bag. Then Mommy gave her the brush and told her, “You’ll scrub until I tell you to stop.”
So Cassie scrubbed. She had to scrub the whole cushion, and it seemed to take a very long time. Finally Mommy said she could stop. They put the bag in the trash, put away everything else, and Mommy told Cassie she was to stay in her room the rest of the afternoon until supper.
“Cassie, you know you didn’t just make a mistake. A mistake is something you do accidentally, like dropping your fork on the floor at supper. What you did was wrong, and it was disobedient and disrespectful.You made poor Pooch sick, and you created extra work for me. You need to think about that. You can’t make the excuse that you made a mistake when the truth is that you chose purposely to disobey. Do you understand me?”
“Yes.” Cassie was very subdued by this time, knowing her Mommy was right. Sometimes it was just so hard to be good!
One thought on “Cassie’s Mistake”
Great story! A good example of teaching a child the difference between a real mistake and one that is self made due to failing to take things in consideration.
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