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The Wisdom of Kid-hood

After my last post, the calls started coming in.

"Oh, I couldn't be you."

"How are you doing? Are things better?"

I just love writing, sharing, and being. Because now I get to share with you a secret I discovered last week: It is fun being a kid. And, pretty often, my kids know how to get what they want. So, I decided to conduct an experiment.

And here's what I found out: Want to laugh? Do what kids might do.

* * *

I am a pretty cautious driver, especially now that we have a new Silver Dodge Grand Caravan. Unfortunately, the joy of having a new car, and the craziness of putting the car on the road with others usually don't mix too well. Recently, while I was driving around town doing my normal shuttle activities, a red Honda cut me off — and almost ran me off the road!

Yes, this happens often in a city like Baltimore where everyone has somewhere to go and your safety is secondary to someone else's hurried travels. This time though, my response was different. I thought, "What would my rambunctious toddler do if someone pushed him?"

Of course! Push him back.

Now, I may not condone this behavior from my children, but today, I thought, Why not? I tried to catch that little car, so that I could maybe cut in front of him, slow down, kindly signal, and ask, "Excuse me, sir. I'm lost. Could you please help me find the Johns Hopkins Hospital? I left my map at home and I really want to go and see my friend. Do you think I could follow you there? It's not far, is it?"

Oh, the pitifulness in my voice would only be matched by the uncontrollable laughter in my heart. I know. I know. It's not right, but man, our kids do things that aren't right and then they get over it pretty fast, huh?

* * *

My 12-year-old daughter and I rush to Staples to pick up a couple of things for her science project — one of those things being rubber cement. Given we had little time, my daughter walked up to the young man with the Staples shirt on (not just anybody) and asked him where the rubber cement was.

He said, in a nonchalant manner, "Uh, we don't sell rubber cement." My daughter relays the message back to me. And I think: What would my son, the persnickety 9-year-old, do?

He would prove the young man wrong AND tell someone he lied.

I go and get the rubber cement off of the shelf and then return to Mr. Bad Attitude. "Excuse me. I wanted to show this to you. You may want to familiarize yourself with the store where you work." While he looked at me like I had two heads, my daughter hid in the aisle behind the stand-up calendars.

I thought about going to the manager and sharing about how she needs to send people home if they are not going to be nice and helpful, but my daughter begged me to just leave.

See, being right is not bad, especially when you get what you want.

* * *

Ever since my two youngest children spent time with my in-laws for the holidays, my 4-year-old screams for her grandmother. This is another great skill I've learned from my kids: When you don't like the person in front of you, scream for someone else that isn't there.

In her mind, this really works, so I put it to the test. When the kids didn't do a great job on their chores, instead of complaining and fussing, I did what Niara would do: I scrunched up my face and threw my head on the table. "All I ask is for you to take pride in your work. It's not fair. I want my mama. MAMA, please come help me. PLEASE!"

In the middle of crying (yes, tears came down my face eventually — because I was laughing so hard), and stomping my feet, the kids ran in the room.

My oldest daughter, who had witnessed my childlike antics already this week, said, "Okay, guys, this is it. She's REALLY lost it now. "

My 4-year-old knew what to do: "Mommy, your mommy is in Detroit and she's not coming, so just get over it and stop crying."

Unfortunately, I was having so much fun I couldn't stop crying/laughing.

If I had known how much fun I was having as a kid, I would have taken more notes and applied the skills sooner in adulthood.