Path of last resistance

I was reading the web this morning, and got to the very last entry. That doesn't sound right,  but I did find the end of the internet, and it is really the lone "mommy" group that I'm a part of online.  Rather than visioning the scary scene from the last episode of 30 Rock, with Liz Lemon battling it out with high strung mom after high strung mom... vision just a coffee shop, where we pop in, share the tidbit, and then carry on with our day.  As it should be.

So, this morning....  Mom's beautiful and talented daughter has torn through Mom's purse.  Deep sigh.  Been there.  Miss Brideau has emptied work bags, portfolios, notebooks, EIRs, purses, wallets, business card cases, makeup bags, multipacks of tampons, and my favorite - the tool box.

The interest in my stuff has to be for any of the following reasons:

  • She sees me using it and wants to use it too
  • Full Moon
  • Commercial on TV, and she needed something to do 
  • Daddy said it was okay
  • Thinks that some of hers is in there
All of these are justifiable reasons for a 2 to 25 year old girl to enter into any of her mother's belongings, right?  Glad we can agree on this basic principle.

There's the time I was at lunch, when to pay - and found my business cards had replaced my debit card,  and my business card case was no where to be found. Or, the time I opened up my handy tampon bag, only to find one stick of chapstick.  That was enough for me to get crafty.

I made her a replica of one of my purses. I gave her a powder, glossy Burt's Bees chap stick, some old hotel room keys, old business cards, a wallet, a small bag with some coins (Iolani's 4, so she knows that coins are dirty and don't go in your mouth), and other age-appropriate trinkets.  (Although, she now carries around eye-shadow...we have simple and strict rules about it.. "Not at school and Not at Church"

The key to this: YOU MUST ASK HER TO USE HER STUFF EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.  If I ask Iolani to use her chapstick, or borrow her powder...for some reason she's thinking "Oh this is mommy's, and she's letting me use it" or... "Mommy can't find her stuff again, but I have my stuff, so here"

Either way, since the replication...there's been a dramatic decrease in her use of my stuff.  When I find that she's in my work bag, I noticed that she's all about my paper pads, pens, and business cards.  So, I found a black bag, tucked a paper pad, pen, and old business cards...and we do the same thing.  I ask her occasionally if she has paper I can use to make a list, we write the shopping list, or things to do - together...and then magically...my bag's left alone.

Ultimately, she's trained me to pay attention to the fact that I'm a very fascinating person with very fascinating things.  She also has this desire to have her own things.  She can now be found carrying her purse, with just a couple of items that she will need for the day.  And, this battle for my bag has ceased.