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The Big Blue Chair
Photo: Dreamstime
“Sammi’s hiding behind the Big Blue Chair. I have to go find her,” said my granddaughter with a twinkle in her eyes.

We shared a knowing chuckle as the almost-12-year-old headed off to find the five-year-old. I have “lost” more children behind that chair!

The children and I bought it 35 years ago as a gift for their Dad. He never sat in it. No one sat in it. I’d look at that overstuffed furnishing and think, “What a waste!”

But that was before our grandchild--before providing daycare for her--before other people decided one child wasn’t enough for me and I should occasionally care for their child/children as well.

During those years the Blue Chair became the “time out and time with” chair. Toddler melt-downs usually have as much to do with fatigue or blood-sugar drop as with deliberate bad behavior. I used my own variation of the Time Out method: “two minutes in the Blue Chair.”

What screams and howls! I’d go to the kitchen, fix a spill-proof container of warmed milk, grab some tissues and head for the living room. Upon seeing me, the crier would turn up the angst.

“May I sit by you? We can finish your Time Out together.”

It’s not easy when the person you’re angry at is holding something that you really want. With sniffles and hiccups, the child would inch over. I was glad it was a big chair.

But not THAT big. My lap became a more comfy place to gently rock and drink from the cup while I wiped the tears and runny nose.  

It takes warm milk about two minutes to work its magic. I’d rock and embrace, and then say softly: “You know we love you?”

“Un-huh” sniffle, sniffle.


“And you know we have rules about…?”

“Yes.” Tears again.

“It makes me sad when you don’t obey.”

Sobs would jerk up from the gut and little arms embrace my neck. “I’s sorry. I’s sorry.”

“I forgive you. And I love you so-o-o much.”

At this point the child either fell asleep in my arms or we made a go at solving the issue that brought the conflict in the first place.

The Blue Chair served other uses. It was for reading stories together, and where a grown-up sat to witness a dress-up theater act by the younger set. It’s where children played house with dolls and friends, and hid behind it for Hide-N-Seek. When parents came, invariably their child hid behind the chair, tittering and giggling.

“She was here a minute ago,” I’d exclaim, “but she’s disappeared!”

“That Blue Chair is moving and making funny noise,” the mother would say. “I need to check it out.”


No more little children these days but the Big Blue Chair is where a teenager sometimes sits to read her books and where, occasionally, a Grandma takes a nap. Yep, it’s been a keeper after all!

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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