We went to a show at the big library in my hometown where my uncle, who is a children’s musician, was playing a short concert.
The library’s theme for their summer reading program was “Build a Better World,” so at the end of the show he told the kids to think of something they could do to help make the world a better place. “Tell one of the library ladies your idea on the way out,” he said, “and they’ll give you a sticker!”
I took the twins over to where kids were lining up for stickers and told them to think of something to say. I suggested recycling.
“Grown-ups love it when you say you are going to recycle,” I told the kids. No one liked that idea.
Little Girl decided she didn’t really want a sticker but Little Boy seemed to be thinking hard. When we got to the front of the line, he whispered something in the library lady’s ear.
“What?” she said. “I can’t hear you. How would you help make a better world?”
I leaned in to help listen and heard my son say, “I’d help the library put on better shows.”
I yanked him out of line before anyone could hear that statement and pulled him aside. “You can’t say THAT!” I hissed. “Think of something else.”
He looked at me. “Well, if I got the sticker I could try to make it last forever,” he said. “That would be good for the world.”
I rolled my eyes. “Just go back over there and tell the nice lady you are going to recycle, okay?”
He sighed and got back in line. “I’m going to recycle,” he said dispiritedly.
“Oh wow!” said the lady excitedly, handing him the sticker. “That’s a great way to build a better world!”
Little Boy looked less than enthusiastic, but he stuck the sticker on his shirt and came back to me. I was pleased to have avoided having him trash my uncle’s concert to library management, and he seemed fairly happy with the sticker, so I’ll call that a win/win.
Note: Later on, Little Boy was talking about how much he’d liked the show, so I said, “Why did you want them to get better shows then?”
It turns out that what he’d meant was that they should have more shows at the library LIKE THAT ONE. So I suppose he wasn’t actually trashing the concert… but it had sure sounded like it!