by WJ Stams
Sammy learns she CAN do many things all by herself.
|Do you ever think about everything you have to do each day?
If you are anything like Sammy, you probably have many things to do.
Sammy had to go school, take care of herself, and clean her room.
Sometimes, she didn't believe she could do those things by herself. She was always saying “Save me!”, and someone usually did save her.
Getting ready for school was the same every day. Sammy woke up and ate breakfast. After that, things got a little frustrating.
Sammy went into the bathroom at 7:00 am sharp to brush her teeth, wash her face and to do her hair. Brushing her teeth and washing her face were no problem for her. But when it came to her hair, watch out!
She would become impatient after fifteen minutes of fussing with it. And by then it would become wildly knotted and unruly. Sammy would complain, “I can’t do it!”
Suddenly a very loud “Mommy! Save me!” would come from the bathroom. Her Mom would rush to the rescue and fix Sammy’s hair.
Then it was time to get dressed. Sammy was already feeling somewhat agitated. She would grudgingly go into her bedroom and stare at her closet.
A yell would come from her room – “I can’t find anything to wear!”
Her clothes were always organized and hung up so that matching outfits were paired together. Clearly there were many very nice outfits to choose from. But, Sammy did not always feel like she could select one. So she would often yell to her Mom, “Save me Mommy! I can’t find anything to wear to school today.”
Her Mom would, again, come to the rescue.
When it was time for Sammy to get her shoes on, she would sit on the couch, already feeling frazzled, and barely try to tie her shoelaces before you heard a roaring “I can’t do it!”. She would give up and become very angry. Sammy would cry out, “Save me Mommy! I can’t tie my shoes.”
By then, Sammy and her Mom would be feeling very frustrated. But no matter how crazy the morning had been, her Mom always gave her a big kiss, a giant hug and a heartfelt “I love you.”
Sammy’s teacher, Mrs. Sullivan, was very fond of her. But, often, she wished that Sammy would have more confidence in herself.
When Sammy was working on a project, like tracing and cutting, she became upset when she cut outside the lines. She would get mad at herself.
“I can’t do this,” she would complain. “It’s too hard!” she said. And, as it often happened, she raised her hand to get her teacher’s attention. “Mrs. Sullivan, Save me! I can’t do it right.”
And, though Mrs. Sullivan tried to convince her otherwise, Sammy simply did not want to believe that she could complete the project without help. So, Mrs. Sullivan helped Sammy complete her project.
Every day Sammy went to recess after lunch. She usually did pretty good and played well with others.
But, sometimes Sammy decided she couldn’t do something. One time she felt she couldn’t go down the slide. Another time, she couldn’t get started on the swing. And, once, she suddenly couldn’t get down from the second level of the play structure.
Each time she couldn’t do something, you would hear “Save me!” and “I can’t get down!” Or, “I can’t swing!”
And the recess teacher would come to the rescue.
Sammy was good in most subjects. But when it came to math, she would give up so easily. She was not very good at listening. She wanted to know how to add, subtract, and multiply without having to take the time to learn.
When she couldn’t understand right away, she would become very frustrated with herself. “Mrs. Sullivan, save me!” she would beg.
But, Mrs. Sullivan found that Sammy was so focused on being mad at herself, that she wasn't open to learning. Mrs. Sullivan was sometimes unable to come Sammy's rescue.
When Sammy got home from school, she was allowed to play before she did homework.
One day, when Sammy got home, she decided to build a fort. She put some chairs together and put a blanket over the chairs. When she lifted up the blanket, to go inside the fort, it all came tumbling down. Sammy got very sad, and then mad. She yelled out to her Dad – “Daddy! Save me please! I can’t do it by myself!”
Her Dad loved to do things for her. Especially if it was building something. So he fixed it for her.
Sammy was also trying to learn to ride a bike. When she was bored with playing in her fort, she gathered her helmet, knee pads and elbow pads. She put them on and headed for the bike.
Before she even got on the bike, she was struggling. “Daddy! Daddy! Can you help me get up on my bike? I can’t do it.”
Her Dad would help her onto the bike. Sometimes, she would fall over. “Oh Daddy… “ she would cry. “Save me! I can’t do anything. I’ll never learn to ride my bike.”
Her Dad helped her up and held onto the bike as she rode it. But, she was too afraid and didn't want him to let go.
After play time, was homework time. Sammy really did not enjoy homework at all. In fact, she dreaded it. Sammy was very impatient. There were many things she would rather be doing.
Homework was a very difficult task for both Sammy and her parents. The homework had to be done and her parents could not do it for her. And, as you can imagine, Sammy did not like that.
Sammy would beg, “Save me!” She would beg and plead. But, she could not be saved. Her parents could not get her to focus. They could not convince her that she could do it.
As a result, Sammy would often get bad homework grades.
After homework time, was dinner and then a bath. Everyday, when Sammy took a bath, she would become frustrated when it was time to do her hair.
She didn't like the shampoo getting in her eyes and could never get all the soap out of her hair.
Her Mom taught her how to wash her hair without getting soap in her eyes. And, she explained how important it was to take the time to get all of the shampoo out of her hair.
Yet, almost everyday, you would hear Sammy yell, “Mommy save me! I want YOU to do my hair!”
And, her Mom, as always, would find it easier to do Sammy's hair, than try to get her to do it by herself.
Finally, before going to bed, Sammy had to pick up her room. She would walk into her room and look around. Almost immediately she would yell, “I don’t want to clean my room by myself. Somebody save me! Please!”
And, they usually did.
Sammy continued to believe she couldn't do anything by herself--until one night, she got a big surprise. Her Dad made an announcement at dinner table. “Sammy, we're going camping this weekend.”
Then he asked her, “Do you remember everything we've taught you about camping?”
Sammy replied with great excitement, “Yes, Daddy, I do!”
That weekend, they packed up the van and headed for the campground. The tents had to be put up first. Sammy’s was a cute pop-up tent.
Her parents tent was much bigger. They were busy putting it up. Sammy was trying to put hers up. But, when it would not pop-out right away, she got impatient and began to complain. Not surprisingly, she shouted, “Somebody save me!”
Sammy didn't want to put up the tent by herself. In fact, she didn’t want to pick up firewood, unroll her sleeping bag, or do anything by herself.
Sammy wanted to have fun. Setting up camp was not fun. Nor was it fun being frustrated and not being able to do things right the first time.
Sammy’s Mom and Dad were so busy setting up their tent that they were not paying attention to her screams and complaints.
She decided to give up and went off to play. She followed a trail for a long way. She imagined there were fairies and little people and princesses and talking animals and unicorns.
After a while, she noticed it getting dark and cold. She looked around and didn’t know where she was.
Sammy got very, very scared. She began to cry. She yelled “SAVE ME!!!” as loud as she possibly could.
No one answered. No one could hear her.
She yelled so much that she lost her voice. Her throat was sore and she was beginning to shiver from the cold.
What would she do? When would her parents rescue her? She was getting hungry. It was getting really dark outside.
Suddenly she realized that if she didn’t do something now, it would be so dark she would not be able to see anything--at all.
But, she remembered the number one, most important rule. Don’t move. Hug a tree and don’t move. That didn’t mean to really hug a tree. That meant that she needed to make a camp right where she was and she should not wander off anywhere.
Sammy began to remember everything her parents taught her about survival camping.
“I need to make a shelter to protect me and keep me warm.” She remembered.
Sammy found a spot in some bushes that resembled a cave. She tore down some branches from a nearby tree. She placed several of them on the ground where she would sit. She hung the largest branches over the entrance to her shelter.
“Now I need to make a fire.” She said.
Sammy found a spot that was not too close to trees or to her shelter. She made a hole in the ground by scraping out the dirt with a wide piece of wood.
Next, she walked around, looking only for the driest wood. First she got a whole bunch of little pieces. Then she went back for the largest pieces she could carry. She piled the wood near the fire pit she made. But not too close.
Then, she needed to find very dry moss and leaves.
Finally, she had to select the two driest pieces of small wood from her wood pile.
To make the fire, she started to rub the pieces together as fast as she could. This was hard. But she continued to rub them together until she finally saw smoke.
Then she quickly placed some dry moss and leaves over the smoking wood. When they started to burn, she added more. When there was a steady flame, she put the driest and smallest pieces of wood she had over the fire in the shape of teepee. She let them burn until there were more flames. Then she added some bigger wood. Before she knew it, she actually made a fire. And she was glad, because she was getting cold.
“Now I have to find something to eat.” She looked around for some berries. Her Dad taught her which berries were safe. She collected a bunch of them and placed them in a pile in her shelter. She would eat some after she finished her camp.
“Now I need to find some water. Hmmmm, where will I get water. There are no lakes or rivers here." She remembered that you can go without water for a couple of days. Anyway, she wasn’t thirsty yet.
Now that Sammy’s camp was finished, she could relax. She felt pretty good about what she had done. She put the camp together all by herself. She didn’t need anyone to help her. Maybe she was lost and alone, but she was feeling on top of the world at that Moment.
She did as she was taught, and stayed in one place. She sat by the fire for about an hour, continuing to add wood each time the flames got smaller.
She then retreated to her shelter. She was so tired, she fell asleep.
Suddenly, Sammy was awakened by familiar voices. She bounced to her feet, and ran out of the shelter. It was her parents' voices. She yelled out, “Mom… Dad… I’m over here!” repeatedly, until they found her.
Her parents were so happy to see her. And she was never happier to see two people in her entire life.
“We found you because of the smoke from your fire.” Her Dad said, with happy tears in his eyes.
“Daddy, I remembered everything you told me about surviving if I got lost. I love you Daddy. I love you Mommy.” She gave them both a gigantic hug and they all went home together.
Sammy woke up the next day and got ready for school. She was so proud of herself. She knew that she could do ANYTHING.
She found her own outfit to wear to school.
She did her own hair.
She got dressed all by herself.
And, she tied her own shoes.
At School, she did the class project without any help.
And, she listened carefully. Then she could do her math without Mrs. Sullivan's help.
At recess, she went down the slide, got started on the swing, got herself down from the second level of the play structure--and didn't need anyone's help.
At home, she built her own fort.
She did her own homework, and only asked for help if she really needed it.
She practiced riding her bike without her Dad’s help.
She took a bath all by herself.
And, she cleaned her own room.
What kinds of things can you do all by yourself?