Kids are funny little creatures because of the way their minds work. They’re constantly learning, absorbing information, and figuring out the process of cause and effect, and they can use all this knowledge they’re perpetually gaining to be extraordinarily clever. Yet at the same time they can be easily confused, scared of the unknown, and tricked by illusion, which can make them seem ridiculously, humorously foolish.
And sometimes those two extremes can come together to make priceless, memorable moments.
A few nights ago my daughter was being a little bit of trouble at bedtime. She went to bed fine enough, snuggling her stuffed Rainbow Dash toy, but about a half an hour later I heard banging on her door. She had decided that she wanted her four Sesame Street plushies instead of Rainbow Dash, and she needed me to tuck her back in properly. I obliged, and returned to what I was doing, only to hear banging on her door again about twenty minutes later. She had decided that instead of all four Sesame Street plushies she just wanted her Abby Caddaby, and again, she wanted me to tuck her back in properly. This time I obliged, but I also warned her very sternly, “I don’t want to hear any more banging on that door tonight”. I asked her if she understood and she said yes. I asked her if she promised not to bang on the door anymore and she said yes. She gave me a kiss and said good night and I went on my way.
The key words in this part of the story are “don’t want to hear any more banging on that door”.
Another twenty or so minutes later my husband asked me if I heard the little Missy yelling. I listened, and sure enough I heard her calling my name. By the time I got up to her room she’d called it a further ten or fifteen times. When I opened the door she was standing there, grinning at me, decidedly not banging on the door. I’d been outwitted by a toddler.
I couldn’t be mad, because come on…that’s pretty clever. So I took her to the bathroom (which is what she’d wanted, so I guess it’s good that she decided to be clever) and returned her to her room, where she decided that she no longer wanted Abby; she wanted her miniature Big Bird and Grover toys. I tucked her all in and went back on my way. I wasn’t downstairs for five minutes when hubby and I heard her cry out again, except this time she wasn’t just calling for mommy; it sounded like she was sobbing. I went sprinting up the stairs and found her sitting up in her bed, positively bawling her eyes out. For a moment I thought that perhaps she hadn’t done all of her business in the bathroom and was crying because she’d had an accident, but when I asked her what was wrong she just started sobbing, “Grover! Grover!” A moment later I realized that her little Grover had somehow gotten tangled up in the blankets and she thought she’d lost him. I “rescued” the poor thing and got her all snuggled in again, taking care not to get the blankets too close to Grover this time.
And so I was struck by the humorous workings of a child’s mind. In less than ten minutes she’d both completely outwitted her mother over a wording discrepancy, and totally lost her mind because her toy accidentally left her line of sight.
Aren’t kids just the funniest things sometimes?