Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not qualified for the job

I am convinced that Kate has an informant from the TIA Toddler Intelligence Agency that visits her in the night, performing intensive coaching in the Art of Parental Manipulation. I’m also investigating the possibility that they’ve been piping in the webinar at daycare on a regular basis. There is no other explanation; a three-year old cannot come up with such well designed tricks executed to perfection. If so, then I think someone needs to be pouring money into researching the fact that we might possibly be born as smart as we will ever be, then get stupider as we age. There is something about a three-year old outwitting their parent that just isn’t right. And no Craig, it has nothing to do with the fact that I am blonde.

The other day at lunch, my friend Jodi and I were marveling at just how smart and coy Kate and Jenna both are at this stage. Long gone are the expected tactics of MOM SAID NO, SO I WILL JUST ASK DAD. Oh no, this generation has version 5.0, upgraded for ultimate performance. They aren’t messing around with the staid and ancient tricks used by toddlers of days past.

On our way home one night this week, Kate and I were involved in a never-ending argument about whether or not she was going to play on her swing set when we got home. My answer continued to be NO. She approached this challenge with the vigor one might expect out of someone seeking to wrong every injustice of the world. She apparently thinks that “No” means “If I ask 500 more times and sneakily convince her that all signs point to playing outside, maybe she’ll say yes.”

Kate: Can we play outside for a little bit?
Me: No Kate, it’s already past your bedtime.
Kate: Just for 5 minutes.
Me: No Kate.
Kate: Just for 2 minutes.
Me: Nope Kate, we aren’t playing outside for any minutes.
Kate: Let’s feel the weather. I think it’s warm. It’s perfect for playing outside.
Me: Kate, it’s too late, we aren’t playing outside.
Kate: It’s not dark yet mom, we can play outside until the moon comes up.
Me: Kate, we are NOT playing outside.
Kate: Can we just go look at the swingset?
Me: No.

The debate has ceased.
Mom 1: Kate 259,897?
Not so fast.

As we are driving up the driveway, Kate catches a glimpse of her swing set in the backyard.

Kate: “MOM! MOM! MOM!”
Me: What Kate?
Kate: Someone took 3 of the trapeze bars from my playset. Three of them are gone. They are missing. They are all gone! (Insert dramatic back of the hand application to the forehead, indicating a near fainting moment.)
Me: What? No one stole your trapeze rings.
Kate: Yes, they did. Three of them are miss-iiiii-nnnngggg.
Me: They are not Kate, you can’t even see that far.
Kate: I think we need to go back there and look, just for 2 minutes …

What have I gotten myself into? I’m not sure who has been slipping this kid pointers, but I have them on a Most Wanted Poster. I have vivid flashbacks of our Pediatrician pegging her for a career in the White House at her 2 year check-up. I of course attributed that complement to her wit, brilliance, and intellect. At the time, I didn't realize she might of actually been foreshadowing the hidden skills of manipulation and lies that would make her much better suited for politics.


Hit 40 said...

I actually had to read a book about how to end arguments because my youngest boy liked to argue with me so much. It really helped.

You learn so much as a mom!!!

Call Me Cate said...

As I read your recent posts about Kate, I am amazed and horrified and so many other things. I probably would've fallen for it.

Ann's Rants said...

Sales. Definitely Sales...

C. Beth said...

You know, we talk about Chickie and Kate being similar. I'm not sure we should ever let them meet because putting that much stubbornness and attitude in one location might create a singularity, sucking us and the rest of the solar system into non-existence.

MarjnHomer said...

I once asked my daughter to tuck in the corner of the bed and she replied back, "I'm no grown woman. I don't know how." I was speechless but she still did it. Kids these days.

The Rambler said...

I remember swimming in the pool and everytime my mother would be about to call my name I ducked under and pretended I didn't hear her.

Kids....I never thought it would be me on the other side yelling their name :)

This is where my mother sits back and says Karma came over to my daughters house!

Anonymous said...

How do they get so smart so young!

Maybe she has a great career as a lawyer in her future?

Marinka said...

Omg, she is awesome. I'd give up immediately. And lol that the discussion took waaaay longer than two minutes. My favorite was "let's enjoy the weather". Perfect.

Suzy said...

Let your girl run for President. We need a woman already!

Divine Chaos said...


I -still- have conversations with my daughter like this, and she's 11. She's getting better, sneakier ... it's a good thing that she's just like me, at least I know what to expect and how to see through the manipulation *laughs* when she was little like yours, she had just been busted by me and my mother for something. She looked at me as my mom left and said "How did Nana know??"

my answer? "Nana knows because all the tricks you have tried, are trying or will try in the future .. I tried first. You will never get away with -anything-"