My children are brilliant.
I'm not just saying that like a mom who thinks her children are the smartest, prettiest, kindest of the bunch. Well ... yeah I am.
Actually, I said that (not only because I believe it) but to lessen the blow of the rest of this column.
In reality, my children confuse me. I mean, they amuse me when they do, but I really have no clue what's going through their minds.
Take Katie for example.
She has these little, girlie, plastic high-healed shoes that she's amazing in. She can run, jump, spin in circles and dance in them without teetering once.
Well, sharing is a big theme in our house right now -- a hard lesson because Katie's now being denied a bottle. Something Nikki isn't. In the spirit of sharing, Katie sees no reason why she shouldn't just grab the bottle Nikki left lying on the floor, go hide in a corner and drink to her heart's content. In the spirit of bottle breaking, I take it from her. It's not really a pretty situation.
So, following a bottle-stealing episode, Katie doesn't really understand why she has to share her pretty shoes with her sister.
"Because I said so" enters our family dynamic for the first time.
Nikki tromps off in the shoes and Katie runs from the room in a huff.
I have to give it to her, though, she's inventive .
She sneaked into the bathroom, pulled a blue boat and a red boat out of the pile of bathtub toys, slipped her feet into them and went clomping through the house. She wasn't near as steady on boats as she was in her shoes, but ... it was a heck of an attempt.
Of course, Nikki saw her, threw off the shoes she was wearing and started a battle over the boats.
Just remembering hurts my head.
It was hilarious watching them walk around in boats, but in the last week of weirdness, its not been the only action that made me do a double take.
Katie's almost fully potty trained (excuse me while I do a little dance). She uses the big girl potty and remembers to flush every time.
The other night, she pulled out her old plastic, floor-model Elmo potty chair out of the corner where it's been gathering dust since we bought it (she never actually used it). She put it in the middle of the living room and proceeded to pee.
It wasn't on the floor, so I'm thankful for that, but now that she's using the real toilet, I've lost my stomach for having someone pee in a common area.
What's more, I'm not sure why she did.
Just like I'm not sure why, with all the life-like and talking baby dolls she has, she felt compelled to pick up a rock and tote it like a baby all the way to, and inside of, the baby-sitter's house. She even crooned to it, while I was bending her around and flipping her upside down just to get her in the car and latched into a car seat.
"Is OK. I gotcha. I gotcha."
She must have lost interest sometime during the day, because when I got home that night, she was rock free.
Kids do the weirdest things. I mean, you're used to hearing the question, "What were you thinking?" directed at a teen-ager. But to a 3-year-old?
There are several things I'd like to know, but that my children aren't at an age to tell me.
- Why was the peanut butter under your bed and your toothbrush in the cupboard?
- Why does the sight of a clean room offend you so much that the minute I'm done you have to clear off the shelves , empty the toy box and mush fishy crackers into the floor?
- What's the appeal of a just-made bed as opposed to one that's unmade? Why do you choose to play trampoline just as I've tucked in hospital corners and fluffed the pillows?
- Why is walking around holding you for hours, even in a darkened room, so much better than my cuddling you in a rocking chair?
- Why do you want me to read you a book and then walk away just as I'm getting into the storyline?
- Why is it that you're never hungry, but always eating?
- Why do you beg to take a bath and then scream when you get wet?
That's just a partial list. I'd love to talk to anyone with answers, but I'm sure they're bazillionairs and on a book tour now. I'll be there, too, someday just as soon as I figure my own kids out.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.