Children are Crazy

by doodaddy on July 17, 2009

I recently stumbled across a truism that instantly saved me from most of the emotional head-butting that had become a daily feature of my relationship with Boo:

Children are crazy.

Consider this monologue, reported here as close to verbatim as possible: “Do you want to hear the song I just wrote about a horse named Rahm? It goes like this: I have a HORSE named RAHM OBAMA! A HORSE named RAHM OBAMA! I — wait just a minute! I forgot the WORDS! I forgot a song I made up MYSELF!” Then maniacal laughter and an announcement that the speaker needs to poop.

OK. Let’s just say you ran into someone on the street who talked like that. You’d immediately think, “This one’s a little nuts,” and if you’re like me you’d smile that benevolent, humoring smile and take up the semi-defensive posture we city-folk have mastered.

Empathy and safety, not engagement.

* * *

I’m not letting Boo use the big armchair at the head of the table and she’s pissed. I explain that since she can’t push that chair in, food threatens to spill all over when she uses it. We covered one chair specially and it’ll be hers until that happy day she manages not to spread her meal in a three-foot radius around her. I point all this out and, being three years old, Boo’s reaction is to scream.

Crazy, right? But it doesn’t bother me anymore because crazy is now what I expect!

So now Boo gets one logical explanation and if that’s not enough she might have to take a break in her room. But knowing what I now know — that children are crazy — I do not get angry, I do not yell or guilt trip or wheedle. I never count to more than three or back off from my position. And when the break is over, so is the issue: I don’t hold grudges.

My life has completely changed.

* * *

Now my only question is: when do kids become un-crazy? Especially since most days, I’m not quite sure I’ve reached complete sanity myself.

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in behavior,parenting,teaching ·

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

OM July 17, 2009 at 9:31 am

You mean one day (maybe if Rahm Obama’s health reform goes through) they will find a cure and make my baby un-crazy? Who’s going to through his food at the dogs then? Will the dogs be forced to eat from their bowls again?


jerseygirl89 July 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

All I can tell you is that it’s not by age 4 1/2.


Art Dada July 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm

As my dad says, “People are the craziest monkeys.”


Backpacking Dad July 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

So….you’re not leaving me much hope for the future. I hoped the insanity was temporary.


Joelle Kaufman July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I was asked by a friend when she’d feel normal again after having her first child. After having three – I responded with absolute certainty – never. Normal is redefined.

Crazy gets redefined too. They get smart to our explanations and point out fallacies in our logic. Wait until your new baby joins forces with the older one to thwart you – fun times, coming your way!


Sugarplumsmom July 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

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