1. Children are honest:Me: "Carter are you guys playing nicely?"
Carter: "Um, I'm not sure....probably not."
I’m sure you’re right about that. I’ve never known you two to play nicely so I don’t know why I thought it would be happening at a time like this when I have to get in the shower and need your cooperation. Where’s my head!
Me: "Carter! We have a lot of people coming over today so I have a lot of stuff to do. I need you to be a good boy! Think you can do that?"Carter: "Well...I can try..."
He’s unwilling to commit to being well behaved. But he’s gonna give it the old college try. And that’s all I can apparently ask for.
2. Children are literal:Me: “Did you hit your brother?"
Carter: "No...I hit the hat."Me: "Was your brother wearing the hat at the time?"
Carter: "Yes."You just gotta know how to ask the right questions....this is one of the times that I’m really glad I went to law school. My years of professional training come in very handy when I’m interrogating my three year old.
(My legal training also helps during negotiations with him. As in “Can I have five cookies?”…”You can have two.”…”What about four?”…”I’ll meet you at three but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.”)
3. Children are dramatic:Grant: "Carter spilled water on me and now I can't even walk!"
Really? That seems extreme. Are you sure it was just water and not, say, nerve gas??
4. Children are often NOT good for your ego:I found Carter playing with one of my sports bras wrapped around his truck and I asked him what he was doing:
Carter: “I’m using this as a Band-Aid for my truck.”
Me: “Well why don’t you use something else instead. Here, here’s a hand towel you can use.”Carter: “No! That's too big...I need to use something little."
5. Children invent new games.Sometimes those games don’t turn out the way they planned. Because children are rough (well, my children are).
Me: "Why does Grant have a black eye?"Cart: "Oh. That's cause we were playing football and I ‘touch downed’ him."
Me: "What does that mean?"Cart: "Here, put him down and I'll show you."
Um, no. I'm not going to put your brother down so you can recreate giving him a black eye. Thanks though.
6. Children are learning how to cover their tracks:Me: "Hey, Carter?"
Carter: "I didn't!"
Me: "Didn't what?"Carter: "Didn't...anything. Why did you say hey Carter?"
Well, I was gonna ask you if you'd seen the remote. But now I'm gonna ask you to stay right here while I investigate exactly what it is you 'didn't' do.
7. Children are adorable (sometimes):
The woman at the gas station asked us if we wanted a receipt. Carter replied:
"No thanks. We already have seats. See, we're sitting in them right now."
Children are a lot of things. But I think above all children are a gift…that you cannot return.