When the doctor first handed me each of my three children, I couldn’t believe that here in my arms was a perfect, untainted little soul, a sweet baby smell, a head full of soft hair (at least for my kids), and, scarily enough, a blank slate, completely devoid of experience in how the world works and as yet unfamiliar with our family dynamic.
Yep…that’s scary. My kids are still relatively little (ages 7, 4, and 2), so we aren’t dealing with the ever-frightening tween or teenager-y aspects of growing up too much yet. However, there have been a few instances of childhood innocence gone awry in my family recently that have given me pause to consider just how mediocre a parent I am.
Tate, age 4: “Please help me find my damn shoes, mama.” I *ahem* have no idea where he heard this *I could throw the Hubs under the bus here, but he could’ve heard this from either of us, most likely on a Sunday morning when we’re late for church*. I think the added bonus of the word please helped soften the blow. I’m sure we’ve never said damn shoes together in a sentence, right?
Sawyer, age 2: “Shit.” (after dropping a toy down the stairs) He was laughing and pointing at the toy as he said this. Again, who is cussing in front of these kids? I think they assume that the natural consequence of dropping something on the floor is to say shit. So…probably ought to work on this one, too.
Sarah, age 7: “Mama, we found a turtle in the yard!” Imagine how thrilled we were to find the box turtle in the yard, just hanging out. I’m sure he was less than thrilled that seven neighborhood children just happened upon him while he was minding his business and doing his slow little thing. I’m sure that, had he not been a turtle, he would have hightailed it out of there post haste. “Mama, we have to make a home for him!” Sarah begged.
I agreed, but only under the condition that Spatz the Turtle not be confined in a box (because I can’t be worried about another mouth to feed or keeping one more thing alive…RIP house plants). The kids had to make a natural habitat for him.
And this is what precious, innocent little Sarah came up with.
I hope that God will forgive me for snorting the afternoon iced tea I was drinking out of my nose when I saw Spatz’s new home, proudly displayed in my neighbor’s yard. You can even see Spatz, resting comfortably in one of the testicles of his flowered abode. When Sarah asking why there were tears running down my face, I had to tell her that it was just such a beautiful home for a sweet turtle that it made me cry a little.
So, you’ve gotta love the innocence of children. And y’all, please don’t ban us from play dates this summer because your kids might pick up bad language or phallic pet habitats. We’re working on it. Any charming innocent moments you want to share in the comments to make me feel better? I’d appreciate it!