Me and my daughter were heading out on an errand and I told her it was time to get her shoes. Linden is almost five and like most kids her age not only has a lot of personality but is beginning to pick up all sorts of things from her peer interaction. Poor girl has me for a dad so some things lead to overly analytic conversations.
In getting her shoes she couldn't decide which pair to wear and instantly started the little rhyme "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe."
I stopped her in her tracks, having heard her do this a few times over the past week.
"We don't Eeny Meeny Miny Moe in this house," I told her.
"It's a way to make a decision," my daughter Linden says.
"It's a bad way to make a decision," I begin explaining. "What shoes do you want to wear?" I ask and she grabs her pink Crocs.
"These are what I wanted," she says putting them on.
We proceed on our car trip to talk about how there's nothing wrong about the rhyme and there's no need to correct other people when they do it, but we also discuss how the rhyme is a poor way to make a decision.
I think the lesson I shared with her is a lesson I see a lot of adults struggle with as well. Often times we are faced with choices, and at times it seems some people would prefer their decision be made by chance rather than by choice.
Sure sometimes we can't get what we want...that's a different lesson. But when faced with a choice it's good to make a decision, a firm one, and stick with it.
Sometimes we try to let chance guide us because we are not confident in our decisions. Maybe we don't formally chose because we don't want to hurt people's feelings (think about playing this game on the playground as a method of selecting who you will ride the tire swing with or who you do a project with). Sometimes I think we are afraid to embrace what we want for fear of what other's think or having to take responsibility for negative outcomes of our decisions.
My daughter seemed to get it, and after much discussion, including the defining of many words and phrases (such as "random" and "chance"), she concluded that she would rather make her own decisions than leave things up to random chance. She also said she would not say the rhyme.
Correction, she identified one scenario where she thought it would be appropriate.
"I know one time when it's okay to do Eeny Meeny Miny Moe," She began. "What if I'm playing dolls, and one of the dolls does Eeny Meeny Miny Moe. Maybe my dolls doesn't know better. Would that be okay? I would never do it, but my doll can."
I have no choice to agree, as I don't want her correcting others, just making a good decision for herself. So if you see by daughter saying "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, catch a tiger by it's toe..." it's probably not for a decision she is making, but rather one her doll is making.