Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Children and their sixth sense(s)

Or maybe it's a superpower. I'm not sure yet, but I'll let you know when I get it figured out. Wade's latest one is the ability to know the second I leave the house without him. Even to go into the backyard to yell at the dog as she tries to pull towels off the clothesline (grrrr). We first noticed this cute little trait Saturday evening when I made a flying trip down to the grocery store to get a few things for lunch the next day. I may have been gone for twenty minutes, but when I got home, I was greeted by a very frazzled looking husband, who relieved me of my grocery bags and ushered me into the living room, where Wade was.

Apparently, not two minutes after I left, he began bellowing, because it just wasn't acceptable to be left home with Dad. Note that this child had been fed right before I left, and had been snoozing peacefully (swaddled, even) in his chair. Despite this, Tanner got to spend fifteen minutes rocking and jiggling and baby-dancing him around the living room. He had only just gotten Wade settled down in the swing (which he's never liked before, oddly enough) when I walked back in the door, Poor guy. How Wade knew I was gone in the first place...I'm baffled.

I'm told that this is a "phase" that passes pretty quickly (thank goodness...it could get old in a hurry), but since that little incident, I've been thinking about other "sixth senses" that kids seem to develop later in life, regardless of whether it's a permanent thing or not. This is the list I've come up with so far:

Approximately 18 months (or after they've begun learning to talk: The ability to perfectly pronounce the words (learned from one little slip of the tongue by Mommy or Daddy) that you'd really rather they didn't. A year or so down the road, this will translate to sentences relaying gossip spoken by any adult directly to the subjects thereof, causing endless embarrassment.

Circa age 2 (or any time post-potty training): The knowledge of the very worst times to announce "I need to go potty!" This includes the minute you've got them all bundled up in their snow gear and are just heading out the door to a function you're already late for, as well as fifty miles into a one hundred mile stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. Occasionally, this is swapped for "forgetting" to tell you, instead, resulting in a mess and a change of clothes (that you may or may not have with you...count on the latter).

Ages 5ish to 10ish (especially applies to boys): The ability to find a way to hurt themselves, no matter how innocent their game. In extreme cases, one might break an arm playing cards, get rope burn while flossing their teeth, smash a finger whilst pouring a bowl of cereal, etc. Beware of the ones that occupy themselves doing legitimately dangerous things, such as shooting gas cans to watch them explode. I'm married to that one, and he's got scars everywhere.

The teenage years: Most know everything at this point, sixth sense or not. They do develop a special ability, however: they can sleep so long it seems they're hibernating (ask Kirstyn about this...she certainly caught a lot of flack from us, way back when), and, in the case of boys, eat like they're actually preparing to.

The next eighteen years sound like they're going to be a lot of fun! There's got to be more, though--to all of you experienced parents out there, what have I missed?

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