Today was a normal school day with all of the normal hurdles.
After my son and I engaged in our morning Starbucks ritual (me with a Venti Hot Chai Tea Latte-Nonfat, and him with a Kids Hot Cocoa with one ice cube-no whip), I dropped him off at pre-school and the rest of the day was a blur until bedtime. The brief beverage time with him in the morning IS a relaxing part of any school day.
The only major change to our routine was that today was the day before the turning in of the science fair project tri-panels.
This involves some last minute taping, setting and question and answer periods which you hope your child will remember in 10 minutes.
When you have two children, and you are myopically engaged with only one of them, interesting things can happen.
As we worked with our daughter on her newest sight word “Hypothesis”, I realized that the house had become very, very quiet.
I stopped for a minute or so to just listen.
I had no idea where our 3 and a half year old son was in the house because there were no audible indicators of his location.
This is very odd. Very, Very Odd.
So, I called him.
And there was a disturbing quietude.
Then, I heard the cupboard door in the kitchen being shut carefully culminating in a very gentle, wooden “tap”.
There were Hershey Kisses in that cupboard.
There were many, many Hershey Kisses in that gargantuan, economy-sized bulk warehouse bag of chocolate.
“Son…Come here, please.”
His caped Super Hero silhouette appeared from around the corner.
His mouth was frantically masticating SOMETHING but I couldn’t see just what yet. Maybe he was really in the healthy DIY snack station we’d set up. Perhaps, he had been eating those cashews in the breadbox…..
“Son. I said to Come Here, PLEASE.”
He walked slowly toward me.
I could see a telling brown dribble down his chin and shirt that reflected a very cocoa-licious sheen. It was not cashew-ey at all.
“Open Your Mouth.”
“WO,” he said.
His mouth was so full of Kisses that he couldn’t even get his tongue to touch the back of his teeth to make the “N” sound required to defy me for the chocolate abatis he had created across his bottom molars.
“Open Your Mouth, Son.”
“Son? Are you eating chocolate?”
By this time, his saliva had effectively broken down the massive quantity of candy in his trap. The only problem was that he had forgotten to swallow the now watery mixture of liquified sugar, spit and chocolate that oozed out of his mouth with every word, onto his shirt and then onto the floor when he innocently said….
“Wo, Wom. I WOH eawing awywhing.”
The whole time he spoke, unable to close his lips to form a coherent phonetic sound as his salivary glands worked overtime to deconstruct that candy, that Spit-Kiss cocktail dribbled off his little, fibbing lips.
I’m supposed to be mad….Right?
So, why is it that I had to look down at my lap so he wouldn’t see me trying not to laugh?
We talked about lying and not sneaking and asking for permission (and all of those things we must address as parents) to inculcate a sense of self-policing integrity that we are expected to extol.
But, I really, really can’t think about that drippy-brown conversation without smiling a little or a lot.
I think it’s because I know my son hasn’t reached a major milestone yet- and that milestone would be the one where he can look me in the eye, having concealed or transformed any incriminating evidence, and with conscious manipulation, lie right to my gullible face.
I believe I want to laugh during these moments, because he’s really, really bad at this lying thing. He hasn’t grasped that ardently-delivered but contradictory words in light of indisputable evidence of abject culpability glare like the shredded Hershey Kiss wrappers at his feet.
I believe this stuff makes us laugh because it IS a little cute, and it is such a relief that our kids are still innocent enough to not understand how to manipulate and lie convincingly just yet.
And, I’m pretty much banking on the idea that things are going to stay at this benign level for….well, for FOREVER.
It could happen.
In the meantime,my hubby and I will keep perfecting our poker faces while we chuckle internally about this stuff. I plan to do it for many more years.
Yes, we will do it for many, many more years…. just AFTER we put a sliding bolt on that cupboard door.