Sunday, July 02, 2006

Tough choices

We reached a milestone in education today.

At the Farmer's Market this morning Sunburst was faced with the tough decision between purchasing Lacinato or Red Russian kale. To help her make the decision, the seller did a bit of choosing hocus pocus, otherwise known as "Eeny Meeny."

You remember:
Eeny meeny miney moe
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he howls let him go
Eeny meeny miney moe
My mother said to pick the very best one
And you are not it.

I don't remember the first time I heard that as a kid, but this was it for Sunburst. She was taken, smitten, truly enchanted by the power and charm of Eeny Meeny. I heard her chanting it under her breath for the better part of the day, over and over again, trying to conjure up the magic spell that puts all mindless choosing up to a simple draw.

When I figured out what she was after we staged some fake choosing with random items on the table: scissors, a sparkly pencil, purple thread, and a press 'n play dress. It was great. We were choosing up a storm, reciting Eeny Meeny over and over, at least a dozen times. Sunburst's face lit up each and every time, and you know, it was fun. I can't believe she never heard Eeny Meeny before. I used to Eeny Meeny all the time as a kid. What happened to me? What about my magic?

I know what you're thinking-- I'm thinking it too. The time has come for me to take my Eeny Meeny powers back.

While Sunburst and I were sitting at the table choosing, Einstein came out of the kitchen with a life-altering question of his own: dinner. He was making some concoction of red rice, potatoes, corn and faux sausage. His quandry was sauce: Tomato or Cuban Mojito? I gave him my expert advice...

Eeny Meeny Miney Moe...

It isn't good to overuse that kind of hocus pocus though. Sometimes you have to branch out and use other forms of choosing, especially when there is more at stake than kale or sauce type. Usually those times are marked by folks having deep and differing opinions, stubbornness, and/or a special talent in the tantrum throwing category. We encountered just that situation today when sitting down to play the cooperative game Let's Go Sailing.

I love cooperative games. There's nothing better than sitting down to play a game with the kids and instead of winning, losing, and discusions about throwing pieces and sportsmanship, you can just peacefully work together to achieve a group goal. Cooperation. Joy. Peace. It was going to be great.

We sat down to play, and the first thing you do as a group is decide what to name your ship. It's a sailing game after all.

"Ladybug," offered Sunburst.
"Shoeburger," said Moonshine.
"Shoeburger?" Einstein and I echoed in unison.
"Ladybug," said Sunburst.
"I change my mind," said Moonshine. "I want Rose."
"Shoeburger." I said.
"We like Shoeburger," said Einstein. "It's funny."
"I want Ladybug," said Sunburst.
"No! ROSE!" squealed Moonshine.
"How about Ladybug Rose?" I offered.

Apparently our ability to cooperate was deteriorating before our ship left port. It was obvious we were not going to agree on a name, so I introduced a more impartial decision-making system: the lottery. Four slips of paper. Four different names. We put them in a knit cap and tried to get Kitty Bill to choose as the innocent bystander. Ha. He wanted nothing to do with our reindeer games so I was forced to pick. It was with great relief that "Lady Rose Shoeburger" finally headed out to sea.

P.S. Dinner was good too. You can find the Cuban Mojitos at Trader Joes.

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