Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time there was a little girl in trouble.

Her name was Mary Catherine. She was three.


“No, Mary Catherine, you’re three.”


And so our story begins.

Mary Catherine was the only girl between two brothers. She was tiny in size, but big in attitude. She was a darling little girl who loved babies, hugs and giggles. She also loved gum, lipstick, pretty dresses, flip flops and playing in the dirt.

Mary Catherine was a sweet little girl, but she had a fondness for mischief -- peeling the wallpaper in her room instead of napping; spilling blue paint all over the carpet in the hallway after her mom told her not to touch it; coloring on the walls with her mother’s lipstick; hammering the paint off of her antique iron bed; hiding from her mother until her mother was so frantic she started screaming hysterically and running in circles around the house...

But as mischievous as Mary Catherine was, she always knew when she had been naughty, even if she didn’t always want to admit it. And when you misbehave, you must always say you’re sorry.

But, sometimes, saying “I’m sorry” is the hardest part of all.

It was a day like any other. Mary Catherine came home from school and took off her shoes, and left them right in the middle of the kitchen floor, like she always did. Her mother -- arms full of groceries and her little brother -- stumbled over them, dropping a grocery bag and nearly dropping her brother. Her mother became upset with Mary Catherine.

“Mary Catherine, I’ve told you a million times not leave your shoes in the floor!”

“I forGOT!” Mary Catherine sassed. "Geesh!"

It’s not OK to sass mommy. So she got scolded for that too. And while she was being scolded, do you know what little Mary Catherine did? She screamed “STUPID” to her mother. Well. I don’t have to tell you what happened next.

She got sent right to time-out.

After a few minutes, her mother came in to see if she was ready to get up.

“Mary Catherine, it’s not OK to talk to Mommy that way. We also don’t say that word and you don’t scream at Mommy, do you understand? Now what do you say to Mommy?”

Mary Catherine hesitated for just a moment…“I don’t care.”

That’s not the apology her mother was fishing for.

Three more minutes passed in time out and Mary Catherine’s mother returned again to see if Mary Catherine was ready to apologize.

“What do you say, Mary Catherine?”

“SOOORRRRRYYYYY!!!!!” she screamed. And so she kept sitting.

A few minutes later, her mother, now nearing the end of her patience with Mary Catherine, returned one last time for an apology. She sat on her knees and looked into Mary Catherine’s eyes. She said, very slowly…“I. Am. Not. Going. To. Tolerate. This behavior. Young lady. What do you need to say to Mommy?”

Of course Mary Catherine knew what she was supposed to say, but before she knew it...


She used to think her mommy was pretty. But now her mommy’s hair started to spring from her ponytail, her eyes got really white and round, there was a large vein popping out of her neck and she was…vibrating. Was that smoke coming out of her ears, and what happened to her lips? They disappeared!

Her mother had turned into a monster before her very eyes!

Before Mary Catherine knew what happened, she was in her room with the DOOR CLOSED. Her very most hated thing ever!

Her mother poured a glass of wine and tried to compose herself.

Mary Catherine was sorry. She WAS. It's just...that...she couldn't help herself.

Her mother came upstairs. Opened the door. She looked a little like her old self, except that her eye was twitching a little and her hair was still a mess.

She said the words. The hardest words of all. She got a hug, she was released, and her mother's eye stopped twitching.

And they lived happily ever after.



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