Inside and Outside


This is my Slice of Life Story. Share yours at Two Writing Teachers every Tuesday.

Maddie and Katie were playing with some friends from the neighborhood at our house on Sunday.  They decided to play “family” and soon got in an argument over who would be The Mommy.  Of course, The Mommy is a coveted role and all four girls wanted the enviable position.  Loud voices led to tears, and my husband was just about to intervene when Maddie declared, “Wait a minute, you guys.  We can all be The Mommy.  Hold on.” Maddie bounded up the stairs to her bedroom and came down holding a book.

She sat on the floor and spread The Great Big Book of Families open on her lap.  She thumbed through the pages as the other three girls watched with curious eyes.  “Here!” Maddie declared as she held up the book for the others to see. “Some children have two mommies or two daddies.”  She pointed to the picture.  “We can all be The Mommy!”

“I have a friend with two daddies,” her friend agreed.

The problem was solved, and the multi-mommy family played in harmony.

I love the way Maddie went inside a book to think outside the box.

From The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman

From The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman




21 thoughts on “Inside and Outside

  1. This is awesome! My 7 year old daughter and her neighbor friend always play this variation of house. I love that different kinds of families are not thought of as strange by little kids. Hopefully it makes them more tolerant adults!

  2. I love this so much! Not only did your sister solve the issue…the children loved the idea and had no thoughts that this might be strange. Love is so strong and it shows in this family. This whole post made me smile.

  3. I can just see Maddie’s face in my mind when it dawned on her that she had seen this in a book. Kudos to YOU for making sure her reading diet is so diverse. Maddie is showing us in this situation that kids know what’s up and we need to just stay out of the way!

  4. Wow – solving problems without adult help, embracing differences in families, and supporting ideas with evidence — awesome! This is a wonderful moment for a parent.

  5. Great slice – love that you gave them the space to problem solve. My husband calls that “rules of engagement” – don’t engage unless engaged with (or a lot of blood!) I particularly love your line: Maddie went inside a book to think outside the box.

  6. Wow! This must have been a proud moment for you…your little one not only solving a problem, but using a book to do it. This rocks!

  7. I love this story. Speaks to the love, acceptance, and innocence of children–and to their loving and accepting parents. Luckily, we had real-life examples in our friend circle to accomplish the same.

  8. What a clever Mummy Maddie must have! And what a great book to stimulate a discussion about diversity. I’ll have to get a copy. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Maddie gives me hope for the future. She has a wonderful role model. Thinking outside of the box has forever been important, but even more so today because the box has really morphed.
    In the end, we’ll look for the good.

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