When Pumpkin Pie was 2, there was a day when something happened and Husband and I knew. We just knew. Oh crap, this kid is officially smarter than us. What the heck are we gonna do now?
When our kids were little, like all parents, we had tricks to get them to do stuff. When they are little, that a significant portion of what the parenting work is anyway. I mean you love them, snuggle and read to them, feed them if you are so moved. But the rest of the time is spent trying to trick your kids into doing what you want them to do and thinking it was their own idea. So when we wanted one of them (Pumpkin Pie, most recently) to do something, we would get all excited and get him all excited and act like getting jammies on or taking a bath or eating green beans was the most exciting thing since the Diet Coke fridge pack. Then you praise them like they just won the presidential election, Wow! You are so good at picking up dirty socks off the floor, I bet Daddy wishes he were that good at that! Should we call Mamaw and you can tell her that you just got your teeth brushed? That is trick #1.
Trick #2 is sneakier and called “The Timer”. This trick works best with little boys. I don’t know why, but it does. Testosterone makes them weak to The Timer. If you get all excited and tell them you will time them, they kick it into overdrive to finish their broccoli, get their shoes on, find their backpack, cure cancer or whatever. Pumpkin Pie is super-susceptible to Trick #2, it seriously works on him every. stinking. time.
Trick #3 is called “The Race” and is a close cousin to Trick #2. It’s the same idea, except when The Timer fails, The Race prevails. Who can resist your dad racing you upstairs to brush teeth or your mom challenging you to race getting into your day-time clothes because dad always trips on the steps and mom is so incredibly slow getting clothes on? Plus, they cheer you on the whole time like they don’t even care who wins!?
When Pumpkin Pie was two, he was super, super, irresistibly cute and we still wanted to give him stuff just because of how adorable he was. His favorite toys were his wheelbarrows. One of Pumpkin Pie’s first words was wheelbarrow (pronounced “googawoah”) and he had a collection of wheelbarrows. Actually two collections: an indoor collection and an outdoor collection. He loved to play with any one from his collection of indoor and outdoor wheelbarrows at every opportunity. Husband and Pumpkin Pie were playing in the back yard and Pumpkin Pie wanted one of his wheelbarrows.
Pumpkin Pie: Daddy, can I have my wheelbarrow? (Note: Pumpkin Pie waited to speak until he could speak in complete sentences. It was all part of his plan for global domination.)
Husband: Okay, Pumpkin Pie. I think it is in the garage, should we go get it?
Pumpkin Pie: Yes. Can we race?
Husband: Sure thing, that would be fun!
Pumpkin Pie: Ready… Set… Go!
Husband took off running toward the garage, then realized he was all alone. He looked back at Pumpkin Pie who was standing at the starting line watching. When Pumpkin Pie saw husband stop, he called to him in his most excited voice.
Pumpkin Pie: Go, Daddy Go! Good job, Daddy! Good job getting my wheelbarrow!
Pumpkin Pie totally snookered Husband using our own carefully crafted super-sneaky tricks. It was a sad and fateful day. Kind of like when your kid gets taller than you, figures out where you hide the Christmas presents, or is better than you at figuring out electronics. It has to happen, but why so soon? It all started when we taught him to talk like a month before…. Big mistake. His plan for global domination proceeds.