When a child is able to compromise your ability to understand the basic facts of your own reality, they are very likely smarter than you. Recently, my kids made me question time itself. They concocted a scheme so diabolical that I truly felt there was a possible glitch in the time-space continuum.
A little background is required for this particular situation. My kids have table top clocks in their rooms. Nothing fancy, just basic digital clocks. During the afternoon they have a “rest time” to read in bed or nap. I set a standard time that rest time ends and they are allowed to horse around once again. Basically, rest time is when I require a brief moment of quiet so I can personally keep my sanity. Typically this is 1 hour that I can do laundry, dishes, vacuum… just kidding… I usually make lunch and watch some trashy tv. The kids are 5 and 6 years old, so I thought I still had the ability to pull this off.
Anyway, on this particular day I was elbow deep in one of my regrettably complicated projects. I had music thumping, hot coffee, and and junk everywhere. I was honestly relishing my few moments of self care.
Suddenly, I heard the universal sound for the ending of quiet… kids. Down the stairs my kids clumped together after what felt like an all too brief rest time. I looked up with surprise and said, “What time are you supposed to come downstairs?” At this point I had a firm and all-knowing tone. Those sweet little voices chimed “3 o’clock” in unison. Strangely, they brought their clocks with them and proudly displayed that it was indeed 3 o’clock on the dot.
I was flabbergasted that I had been so engrossed in this project that I had lost track of time. I analyzed my lack of progress and figured I had been over enjoying the music and mentally checked out.
I offered to make the kids a snack and they made it clear they wanted me to continue on my project and not head to the kitchen (lots of clocks in there you know). Eventually, I had made enough progress on my project that I was at a good stopping point. I went to turn off my music and noticed the time on my phone showed it was 2:45. Confusion set in. My kids had showed me the time when they came downstairs, it should be at the very least 3:30.
I stared at my phone for a moment and headed to the kitchen. Not all that surprising but all the clocks showed 2:45. I walked towards the living room and first made eye contact with my 6 year old son. At first he had an air of superiority about him. I continued my silent, stern eye contact that air blew away and left him in a cloud of his own guilt. My gaze shifted to my 5 year old daughter. She had a grin and absolutely no shame.
I now knew, without a doubt, that these little shysters had changed the time on the clocks and manipulated their way out of rest time. When questioned my son instantly confessed, while my daughter feigned shock. I asked if they really thought I was dumb enough to fall for that. My son emphatically said no. My daughter said,”Well, you did fall for it Mom!” She got me there.
Of course we talked about the importance of honesty and blah blah blah. But what I really took away from the whole experience is that if my children can outsmart me at this early stage of their development that I am clearly dealing with beings of higher intelligence than my own. From now on I’m going to need to stay on my toes… and wear a watch.