Thursday, April 9, 2009

You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours




My children have no concept of the typically figurative interpretation of the statement: You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.    For them, it is no esoteric exercise representing what it might mean to reciprocate favors for one another. It is a literal and enjoyable proposition. It is a beloved practice involving exposed spines and finger nails.  

John has been a long-time partaker of all that is back-scratching and rubbing. Recently, when he's asked for a good scratch, Hannah has jumped in on the action. I find myself confronting two exposed backs and eager sighs as I wear my nails down tickling their spines. The requests were endless. Then epiphany struck. I suggested they scratch each other's backs.

Ahhhh, I suddenly have so much more time for myself. A few minutes ago, John asked politely if I might indulge his itch. I said I would when I finished checking email. Suddenly, Hannah, who had been reading a running magazine, piped up "I be happy to. I be happy to, John John!"

When it was her turn to receive the service, she said "Soooo nice. Sooo nice, John!".

Now that they have the concrete application, I'm going to work on helping them to generalize to other sibling cooperation. I know. I'm not holding my breath either. Not everything is as satisfying as a good back scratch. Hey, could you go a little to the left? Yeah... right there, ahhh.

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