I gave Namine an impossible task. She’s been working on it for two nights, with no sign of tiring. Contrary to how I thought she’d react, she has embraced it, eager to help and ready for more.

Namine loves to help in the kitchen. We let her help as much as we can – she helped with making cinnamon rolls tonight, for example – but with some things, like putting food into the oven, she cannot yet help. Sometimes there’s just nothing for Namine to do. My mom always said, “Never tell me you’re bored. I can always find something for you to do.” I found something for her to do.

Namine has more medicine syringes than I can count. Many have matches – the plunger to the barrel – but many don’t. Many are too old to read. Most nights, I wash them along with the rest of the dishes. Some nights, not so much. But with assembling them, I’m not so diligent. I have all these clean, unmatched syringes, and a bored five year old. So I set her to work.

An aside, here: these aren’t syringes with needles. They’re all syringes for her to take liquid medicine by mouth, so perfectly safe. Okay, you can go back to silently judging me now.

I honestly didn’t expect Namine to take to her new project as she has. But she takes her independence seriously, and that includes responsibilities that we give her. She has run into roadblocks already (and valuable life lessons, if I may wax poetic) – the most common of which is the simple fact that not all the syringes have matches anymore. Or, if they do, they no longer fit, having been worn down by cycle after cycle in the dishwasher or worn away from one too many washes, even washes by hand.

But Namine has not even lost her temper once. She has uttered the occasional frustrated grunt, but not a tantrum or yell. She has continued to plug away. Tirelessly working, as though on a puzzle that may or may not have a solution, each failure leading to another attempt, and never an acquiesce.

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Husband. Daddy. Programmer. Artist. I’m not an expert, I just play one in real life.

  • Matching syringes and plungers is like matching socks from they dryer!