But it’s one of my favorites. Beanie’s current Beatrix Potter kick brought it to mind yesterday.
When Rose was two-going-on-three, our beloved Alice gave us a "Bunny Bowling Set." The bowling balls were little plastic cabbages with which you attempted to knock down plastic rabbit-shaped pins. Jane set the game up and played it for a while, then wandered off. I was in the next room, fixing dinner, and heard Rose playing with the game. But she sounded frustrated. I kept hearing her knock the bunnies over with the ball, and then she’d cry out in dismay.
Finally she hollered, "Mommy! It no WORK!"
I went to watch her try again. She rolled the cabbage and knocked down half the bunnies. I cheered.
"There you go! You’ve got the hang of it now."
She looked at me incredulously. "No! It no work," she said, through gritted teeth.
"Sure it worked!" I said. "Look how many bunnies you hit."
Her glare was steely with pity and forced patience. "It—no—work," she repeated, slowly, as if she were the adult and I the child. "Bunny won’t catch cabbage!"
A Middle Child’s Shattered Dreams
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