A couple of years ago, my children started saying, “Last one up is a rotten egg!” as they headed up the stairs to get ready for bed. I’ve never liked name-calling of any sort, so I suggested they change it to, “Last one up is a beautiful flower,” but that didn’t catch on.
When I was expecting my fourth child, I would typically send my older children upstairs, finish tidying our family room, and then head up for story time. I kept noticing, though, that my daughter Grace would linger on the staircase and wait for me.
“Grace, why aren’t you getting your pajamas on? I gave you directions five minutes ago.” I’d say—feeling a little annoyed with her disobedience.
But I don’t want you to be the rotten egg!” she’d protest. And with that, we would walk up the stairs together, and she would make sure she was at least one step behind me. She couldn’t stand the thought that I, or her soon-to-be new baby brother, would end up as the rotten egg of the day.
Each evening for several weeks, we repeated this routine. The other children would be obediently brushing their teeth and putting on their jammies, and Grace would be sitting or standing on the bottom step of our staircase calling, “Mom, are you coming?”
I would insist that it was all right, that I didn’t mind being the rotten egg. I even told her I would prefer to be the rotten egg because I didn’t want her to have to be it. Sometimes I’d beg her to step up with me at the same time so we could both be rotten eggs, but she didn’t want any of that. She would bravely follow me up the stairs and dutifully take that last step—finalizing her rotten destiny. Then she’d smile—so happy that she had done something for me.
Eventually, everyone got tired of that little game, and we haven’t seen any rotten eggs in our house for months, but that memory of my daughter loving me and her baby brother so much that she would put herself on the bottom of the totem pole every day reminds me that in a home of love, no one will ever feel like a rotten egg.
QUESTION: What are some other fun ways we can show our love?
CHALLENGE: Help everyone feel love so they don’t have to be the “rotten egg”.
#3 Vicky Said this on 8-12-2009 At 01:16 pm What a touching, sweet story. Children are just so amazing, & their little acts of love or the things they say or do are just so heartfelt & tender. Reply to this Comment