It’s the law of the jungle… Your babies will try to outsmart you from day one. And our kids are no exception. Our first born was an only child until she was 8. She was incredibly smart, and we had to get up very early in the morning to stay ahead of her. She basically came out of the womb 20 years old, and she would ask questions that would just have us shaking our heads.
We thought we’d be well trained for the second child, but NOOOOOO… she came out of the womb smart too, and she had an older sister that was giving her pointers. I can remember hearing Britt giving her little sister advice ‘You can wait until she gets to 2 ½ before you go… she always says, One, Twwwwooooo, two and a half, then she says three!’ Tom and I were just thankful that we weren’t outnumbered!
The problem is that they are like squirrels… They keep finding new ways to get to the nut. So, you absolutely CANNOT let them figure you out! So, we decided that the only way we would come out ahead is if we continually shook things up! For example, in the “One, Two Three scenario that Britt had all figured out… I decided to go from the painfully slow ONE……Two….. Three….. scenario to the 1 ½ second version - onetwothree, whack! You’ve never seen little feet move so fast! (Thankfully, We never had to get to the Whack part!) And for good measure, sometimes, I would use the slow version, and sometimes, I would use the fast version. You may call it meanness, I call it survival of the fittest!
Then we hit the teenage years! And Whoa Nelly… we had a secret weapon that they had never dreamed of! It never occurred to our kids that we were once teenagers. And, too bad for them, both of us were teenagers that pushed the limits. They didn’t have Ward and June for parents, they had Eddie Haskle and Pippy Longstockings. But, our oldest had a secret weapon too… good old determination!
Our oldest was the queen of putting her toe over the line... She would ask if she could go somewhere after school, and we would ask “Did you have any homework and/or do you have any tests that you need to study for?” Her instant reply would be ‘NO’. But we quickly learned that she didn’t consider upcoming projects as homework, and quizzes were not tests, nor were finals, etc. According to her, she was answering truthfully. We just didn’t ask the right questions. So, we had to ask…’ Do you have any homework, upcoming projects, reading that has to be finished, presentations, tests, quizzes, finals, assessments of any sort, or anything that is due to be turned in for any class, whatsoever, so help you GOD? ‘ If the answer was NO, then she got the 4W question… Who, what, when and where? Who’s going (or whose parents will be there, what will you be doing, when will you be doing it, and where is this going to occur? Any wrong answer meant NO GO! And, any answer that was later determined to be ‘wrong’ meant NO GO anywhere for a while. And to make matters much worse… we were the parents that called to CONFIRM! How dare us! If I was told that parents would be there, I called the parents to hear it from them. How mortifying!
Our oldest was able to sneak a few things by us every now and then. Let’s face it, there were times when she just figured out how to get to the nut. And, many of those lessons were painful for all of us! But, I’ve still got something up my sleeve! She’s going to have kids one day, and I will get my chance to watch her scramble to stay one step ahead.
Now, for the youngest… I feel for her. We’ve just finished extensive boot camp by raising the first one, so we’re ready for battle. But, just to make sure she’s prepared, we have given her one simple rule … “If your sister says it’s OK, then it’s probably NOT! So don’t even try it!”
See... Mom's have a way of knowing what's best!