“Mommy, mommy!” Hailey ran in the house, crying.
“What’s the matter, honey?” My little girl looked as though her world was coming to an end. I crouched to her level and hugged her. She smelled of fabric softener and of fresh grass.
“Mommy, Piper’s mean. She hurted my feelings,” Hailey sobbed, as she continued to hold me tight.
“Sweetie, Piper is your best friend. What happened?”
“She’s not my best friend any more.”
I was sure this was something simple, because Hailey was a sensitive soul and Piper didn’t have a mean bone in her body. “I have to finish the dishes, Hailey. Why don’t you sit down and tell me what happened?”
Hailey sat down; sniffling. “Piper gots a new American Girl dolly named Felicity and she won’t let me play with it.”
This was familiar territory. “That’s too bad, honey. It would have been nice if Piper shared her special dolly, but she shares lots of other toys with you. And you did the same thing to her; when she asked to play with your tea set last Christmas.”
Hailey’s chair squeaked as she turned it to face the sink. “But, Mommy, this is different. I did let her play with it; after I had a tea party for my stuff’ animals. But Felicity is the bestest dolly I ever seen. She gots such a pretty purply dress and a little white hat. But Piper said I can’t play with it ‘cause my hands are too dirty. That makes me feel so sad.” Hailey’s face crumpled into a mass of tears.
I sighed and walked over to take her in my arms. “Awww, Hailey, I’m sorry. But those dollies are very special. They need to be kept really clean. I’ll bet Piper’s Mommy made her promise to keep it that way.” I looked at Hailey’s hands; they were pretty grimy. “Your hands really are a little dirty, honey. I’ll bet Piper was just trying to obey her Mommy about that doll.”
She nodded her head, quietly. “But it just feels so bad. I feel like I drank a whole big cup of booboos!” She whimpered. “Mommy, can I have a band aid?”
I quickly looked for injuries. “Did you cut yourself?”
“No, Mommy. I need a band aid for my feelings; because I hurt so bad.”
“Oh, sweetie. A band aid won’t make your feelings better.” I thought for a moment. “But you know what will?”
Her eyes were curious. “What?”
“I have a plan. Go on over to the sink,” I told her.
“You want me to wash my hands, right?” She sighed. Her sigh was as heavy as a bowling ball.
“Well, yes I do. But that’s not all. Go ahead and wash your hands; while I get my magic potion.”
“Magic potion?” She shot her head around, at the enticing phrase; yanking her hands from the soapy water.
“Sorry, it only works on clean hands. Keep washing, Hailey.” I went to my purse and dug around inside. Hailey scrubbed her hands; dried them; then came over to the table. I held up a small container of cranberry-scented hand sanitizer. “This is the magic potion. Hold out your hands.”
Hailey hadn’t seen pink sanitizer before, so she was ready to play along. She stretched her hands out, palms up. I squirted the sanitizer into her hand, counting: “One, two, three. It takes exactly three squirts for this potion to work. Now, rub it in your hands like lotion.”
Hailey’s eyes flew open, in surprise, as she felt the icy coolness of the sanitizer. “Wow, Mommy, it’s all shiver-y in my hands.”
“That’s the magic, Hailey,” I assured her. “Now, I have one more thing to fix your feelings. Let’s say a prayer.” Hailey bowed her head while I prayed. “God, please soothe Hailey’s hurt feelings and help her and Piper to be friends again. Amen.”
She was quiet for a minute; then said, “I guess I feel better, now. And since my hands are clean, maybe Piper will let me play with the dolly.”
“Maybe she will, honey. But, just in case, why don’t you bring your tea set over there? I’ll bet the Piper wouldn’t mind if her Felicity went to a tea party”
“That sounds great, Mommy. A tea party wouldn’t get her dirty.”
“That’s my girl. Have fun!”
“I will! Bye! And thanks for putting a band-aid on my feelings!”
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