I took the kids to Galveston earlier this week. The girls were begging for some beach time, and some of my family was going to be there for a few days also, so I decided it would be a good time. Even though I really should already know this, the trip brought home to me how little I comprehend the child brain.
Here are some highlights.
Why do babies eat sand? It can’t taste good. As a matter of fact, I tried some after Calvin grabbed my nose and stuck his wet, sandy hand in my mouth when I was talking to my sister, and it tasted horrible. The kid will pick up a Cheerio off of his high chair, look at it in disdain and throw it on the floor, but plop him down on a beach and I couldn’t keep him from putting sand in his mouth. I’m not talking about playing in the sand and then accidentally brushing your mouth. No, this child was scooping up handfuls of the stuff and shoving it in his mouth. He even got sneaky, and would be grabbing a second scoop to carry to his mouth while I was distracted with the first hand.
Picking Weird Souvenirs
Maybe this is only my kids, but I swear we spend three hours in a souvenir shop searching for just the right trinket to remember the trip by, and they walk out with a stuffed seahorse that looks identical to the five other stuffed seahorses we already have at home. “No, my other ones are pink and purple. This one’s blue!” Or they pass by the cute tee-shirts with the destination name on it that I can later count as new school clothes, and instead pick out the $5 mermaid Barbie whose arms keep falling off. At first I stand strong. “No, you can’t have that, you already have a bubble wand…No, that glass snow globe is $50 and your sister broke your last one…No, I’m not buying a hermit crab, cage, food and special shell shiner.” By hour two and a half, though, I’ve thrown in the towel and am just trying to get them to the register so we don’t break anything else. Anyone need a large shell jewelry box? It’s only missing a few off the top…
Being Wishy Washy
Every day for a week I’ll hear about how much they love their cousins. “I miss them sooooo much! Why can’t we go see them today? When are we going to their house to play?” Then we finally have a couple of days where they can play to their hearts’ content, and the bickering is constant. “She took my seat. He won’t let me use his bucket. I want to play that game but they won’t let me. I don’t want to share a bed with them, I want my own bed.” It gets to the point where you just want to put them in separate rooms and have a time out for everyone. Then, five minutes after we get in the car to head home, I hear a plaintive voice in the back seat say, “When do we get to see them again? I miss them sooooo much!”
Why do they do that? What goes on in their beautiful, crazy, incomprehensible kid brains? Just for a day I want to be able to read their minds and see what really goes on in there. Do their thoughts bounce around like one of those plastic ball pits that get all mixed up when you let the teenage boys jump in? Is it an ocean of ideas flowing back and forth, twisting around each other and getting disturbed by the random shark swimming by? Is there some sort of logic that my grown-up, unimaginative brain just can’t grasp?
I’ll end with sharing this small glimpse into the world as seen by my seven year old.
While walking past a giant stuffed bear sitting on a bench on a public street.
Me: Syd, please stop cuddling with that bear that millions of people have touched.
Sydney: Oh, I know why.
Me: Uh, why?
Sydney: Because probably aliens came down and cut open the bear and replaced the stuffing with slime, then sewed it back up again.
Me: ……..Sooooo if you squeeze too hard, alien slime will come out of his eyeballs.
See, I’m learning.