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Too Young To Lie

So Maddie and I came home from running errands recently and I gave Maddie over to a few moments of unfettered run-of-the-house fun as I put purchases away. She’s reached that great age where she can entertain herself for rather long periods of time, and combine that with a pretty baby-proofed house and a pretty obedient and docile kid, and I find myself with stretches of 5-10 minutes where I’m comfortable simply keeping her in earshot while I get work done.

A few minutes into my grocery unpacking, and I realize something’s changed. No longer do I hear her little running back and forth, from one place to the next on some busy toddler errand. No, the last time I heard her move it was towards the bedrooms which, now that I thought of it, were suspiciously quiet. No chatting with a stuffed animal, no giving Dolly orders . . . . hmmmm.

So I called out, “Maddie, where are you?”

“Here,” she answered calmly from my bedroom.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Playing in Kitty’s water!” she answered in that incredulous, what-else-would-I-be-doing tone that toddlers have perfected.

I dropped my bags and ran.

In my bedroom, I found a cheerful Maddie with soaking wet hands. She’d gone and gotten most of her tub toys, which were strewn about the bedroom floor. Poor Kitty was cowering in the corner, clearly stressing over this invasion of privacy but not daring to intervene. You could almost see the thought bubble over the obsessive-compulsive feline brow: “She’s touching my water! Oh! Oh! Oh!”

I reminded Maddie that Kitty’s food was a clear off-limits no-no, to which she sagaciously nodded her head and replied, “Not food – water!” At which point we had a conversation that went on to clearly include water as part of Kitty’s off-limits eating area. We packed up the tub toys, which she no longer wanted since they were obviously useless on dry land, and left the room.

And the whole time, two thoughts were running through my head –

One, I’m so happy she hasn’t learned the skill or need for lying to me yet.

And two, I wish I’d had my camera.


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