This weekend we cleaned my son’s room. And by “we,” I mean my wife and my son, Avery. I brought my daughter, Faith, in there just to get in their way provide moral support.
Now, both Faith and Avery have a lot of stuffed animals, but Avery keeps his on top of a bookshelf and far out of reach of anyone who hasn’t yet been through puberty.
Still, they’re plainly visible to anyone, and of course Faith is still young enough to enjoy them. Finding one that struck her fancy, she pointed up at the stuffed animals on top of the book shelf and said hopefully, “Kitt-ee Cat? Mee-oooowww!”
Those of you with kids might expect that this wasn’t a request or a question. She was going to get the stuffed animal she wanted. The problem was that Avery has no stuffed felines. I would have gladly gotten it for her for a “please,” (which I would have gotten), but I didn’t know exactly what she was asking for.
“No, sweetie. There are no kitty cats. Do you want the stuffed doggie instead?”
“I’we get it,” she helpfully chimed. And with no hesitation, she leaped a good inch or two off the ground, coming a mere 5 feet shy of touching the nearest stuffed animal.
Everyone else in the room just lost it, and Faith was happy enough to join the fun (even though she likely didn’t know why we were laughing).
I noticed something else, though: She only jumped once.
She didn’t keep jumping, hoping the next time the result would be different. She jumped once, learned conclusively that this particular method of obtaining what she wanted was beyond her limits, and then she found another way.
Had I not gotten it for her, I wonder if she would have moved a chair into position to take another shot at it, but there are some things I’d prefer she not have to learn the hard way. – Cam Beck