My youngest, Emily, is two and a half. She already has a very witty sense of humor. Last week, the other two girls were in school, so Emily and I were at home together. Emily had been having some little pee-pee accidents so I was trying to focus on perfecting the pottying. At one point in the morning, Emily began crawling up to me, growling, and saying "I'm a Crocodile!" I, of course, would shriek in terror and say "Go away crocodile!" At which point she would crawl away and start all over. Then, this conversation happened:
Me: Emily, are your panties wet, again??
Me: Yes they are.
Emily: No they are not.
Me: Yes they are. Now, go upstairs and get yourself some dry panties.
Emily: I don't want to.
Me: Too bad! You need to go get some dry panties.
Emily: (pause) Well, Crocodiles don't wear panties!
Somewhere underneath my laughter, it hit me that I had just been out-reasoned by a two-year-old!!! I suppose I could have gotten angry and offended by her defiance. However, I didn't read it as defiance. Aside from finding it hysterical, I was actually quite impressed by her thought process. I mean, think about it; it really took a great deal of sophisticated logic on her part.
"I don't want to go upstairs because I am having fun playing Crocodile. Do Crocodiles wear panties?? No, crocodiles don't wear panties and since I am pretending to be a crocodile, I shouldn't have to wear panties either! I'll tell mom that and then I won't have to go get panties!"
So what is my point here?? I promise I am not just boasting about my super intelligent daughter! I think my point is that sometimes we have to "get inside" our children's thoughts to appreciate their comments or actions. Remember that movie "Look Who's Talking" where the narrator says out loud everything that is supposedly going through the baby's mind?? I could have just reacted to Emily's unwillingness to follow my directions. However, when I look under the surface I can see that there is much more to her comment - a much more complex thought process. Is this an excuse for not following instructions?? Of course not! Maybe, though, we can learn to see the lighter, brighter side of it sometimes.
After all, crocodiles really don't wear panties, so who can argue with that?!?