Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'll Just Kick Myself

Man, these 3-yr-olds are crabby and crafty, and I don't mean "crafty" in the glue-and-sequins sense of the word.

Crabtot often threatens to— and sometimes actually does—kick and whack her parents. She now knows not to actually kick or smack Mom or Dad for fear of wrath in kind, but she still likes to threaten it. "I'm going to bite you!" is a line we often hear. Or "I'm going to kick you!"

Mostly she says, "I'm going to kick you if I may!" The last three words aren't meant to be a polite utterance. In fact she says them with complete venom. They're a line she got from a book we adore, Maurice Sendak's Pierre. It's this fabulous story about a boy who says, "I don't care." And so eventually he gets eaten by a lion who says, "Then I will eat you if I may" and Pierre says, "I don't care!" It's a terrific book and bloody clever. (For the writers out there, a perfect example of great plotting and of coming back to everything you introduce in a story later on...I'm talking 'bout that "Chekhov's Gun" thing).

Anyhoo, back to Crabtot this morning:

Ctot: "I'm going to kick you, if I may!" [she thinks "if I may" is just the way you make threats, I guess]
Mom: [instead of kicking her...I'm squashing these impulses lately and trying to pretend I'm patient as a preschool teacher] "What a horrible thing to say! That's not nice! We don't kick people. Especially not our mommies."
Ctot: [with a very helpful, contrite look on her face and in a saccharine tone] "Then I'll just kick myself!"
Mom: "No, we're not going to have you kick anybody. And also [here I'm trying to get sort of metaphysical about how thought and deed are both bad] ...and also we don't say that we'll kick people. We don't say 'I'll kick you' to our moms. Because saying it is also a bad thing. So you have to stop saying these things."
Ctot: "Then I will say, 'I will NOT kick you!'"

I never did well in the logic part of the IQ test. Or in that section where they present you with those Escher-esque shapes which you're meant to turn around mentally and figure out which socket they fit into. All of which means I'm not really up to this sort of rhetorical bantering with a sassy little monkey.

And again, a trying afternoon:

Patientmommy vows not to lose it when I see a huge amount of mess in the bathroom: tea-sets, water, all manner of Crabtottery that the child promised to help clean up...

Mom: "Let's sing the Cleanup Song!"
Ctot: [looking suddenly pained] "I'm not feeling well. I've got a little throat."
Mom: "Oh dear, then I guess you're not well enough to go to the playground."
Ctot: [wiggling out of the bathroom and toward her room] "No, I can go to the playground...I just need a few minutes in my room because...I don't feel good."

Conversation repeated twice today; both times "I got a little throat" coincides with the Cleanup Song. Poor thing, I guess she's coming down with something. Like a bad case of craftiness.

Today at the bloglet: bashing the tot cold-med-feds!! Shove off, FDA, I'm hoarding my stash!


CRUSTY MOM-E said...

HAHAH<>>>>>My shot mommy tummy is laughing my bum right out of my chair..!
Great post..I'm finally getting to getting your link up..sorry it's taken me so long!!
Great post!!
again, I refound you through GROOVEONWARD!! She's hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Oh Crabmommy ... it looks like the crabapple doesn't fall far from the tree. This was a riot.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Crabtot is adorable!!

lightening said...

LOL. I just love the things that kids come out with. :-)

Jege (Jen) said...

This is so hysterical, I just have to keep re-reading it....if I may. :)

skape7 said...

Sounds as crafty as mine - when asked to help clean up the usual reply is "I'd LOVE to, but sorry! I'm really busy with (insert first random thing you can think of here)"

LizLSB said...

Crabtot is still adorable at this point, but wait until the Crabtot learns to say, "I'll do it in a minute," like my teens do. "In a minute" roughly translates to an hour or just whenever I get to it. Oh, and the physical threats get more dramatic, too. My kids say things like "I'm gonna shoot you in the head," to each other. (Now, we don't even own a gun so this is a very empty threat, but it sounds horrible!)

Anonymous said...

That was too funny. Thanks for sharing. Gotta laugh at these wee ones, huh?
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues

Anonymous said...
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Daisy said...

Pierre! I always loved that book. I can still recite whole parts of it from memory because we read it so often.

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