Tuesday night, the girls were enjoying the books before bed. olivia made the mistake of leaving them alone with one at just the wrong moment and they ripped the last page out and tore it into pieces. olivia explained to them how bad this was and that there would be consequences. Ru was very upset. When I came in to talk, she was in her bed sobbing. I explained that I was very disappointed in her but would always love her even when she did bad things. She was even more upset to learn that part of her punishment would be to take the book back to the library and apologize to the librarian and ask if she could still check out their books.
I fixed the page the best I could using scotch tape. There were a couple pieces that were lost and only a small fraction of the page remaining to hold it in the book. We were prepared to pay the fines or replace the book if necessary.
We pulled into the parking lot and Ru started to get upset all over again. She had her head down and was sadly carrying the bag of her books. I took them out of the bag and put them on the counter, opening the damaged book to the torn page. I scooped her up and turned her toward the librarian. I prompted Ru and she spoke: "Sailor and I tore a page out of the book and i'm very very sorry." The woman helping us seemed a little touched by Ruby's heartfelt delivery and shot me a quick look that confirmed it. She said that she needed to consult with the children's librarian.
The girls sat and waited. I had been sure to tell them to be on their best behavior. The librarian returned to the bench where the girls sat and bent at the knee lowering to Ruby's level. "The librarian says it can be fixed and there won't be a fine. I appreciate you coming in and your apology." I prompted Ru again.
"Can we still come back and get some of your books?" She assured us we could and Ru, Sailor and I all thanked her.
I took Ruby outside, hugged her and told her how much I loved her and how proud I was of her. She was a bit drained and asked to be carried back to the car. I obliged, her in one arm and Sailor in the other.
It was a tough experience but as upset as I was at her initial action, I was very proud that she took responsibility for the action and the consequences. Our little girl was a big girl about it. Of all the things you wonder if you are doing wrong, it feels good to get verification that you must be doing some things right.