I'm coming off of a week of solo parenting the munchkins while Shaun was away on a trip and whoooo boy, I have some stories to tell. The kids were great, for the most part, but apparently reserved their most priceless moments for while Shaun was gone.
Take Caly, my beloved second born. At 3, she's starting to test limits. OK, she's always tested limits. But she's starting to get a bit more creative in her choices.
Shaun re-potted one of our plants in a large floor pot as a last ditch effort to save it from my black thumb. While we've had a couple of smaller plants on the table and on the window sill, this was the first time we had one on the floor and it appeared that the giant pot of black dirt was slightly irresistible to small fingers. So, naturally, we had a few conversations that culminated with, "DO NOT PLAY IN THE DIRT."
Of course, it was only a matter of time before we ended up catching someone doing exactly that. After loading the dishwasher, I noticed that the house was remarkably quiet. I rounded the corner into the living room and stopped short when I saw black dirt sprinkled across the floor. My gaze traveled the path of the dirt and landed on a very small, very guilty looking 3 year old. As I met her eyes, she slowly put her dirty hands behind her back.
"Caly, were you playing in the dirt?"
She waited for a beat and studied my face. Then... "Yes."
"Oh Caly, why? You know that you're not supposed to do that. So now, I guess we need to figure out what your punishment will be. What do you think should happen now?"
Her face grew very serious and she focused her big green eyes on me without saying anything. I waited patiently before prodding her again, "Caly, what do you think should happen now?"
And without a trace of guile, she quietly said, "I think you should clean this up."
I swallowed hard to keep from breaking into peels of laughter. It was a long moment before I could say anything at all. Then, I asked, "Caly, I mean what should be the consequences? Because you didn't listen when Mommy said not to play in the plant? What should your punishment be?"
Sensing that she was close to having the upper hand, she took advantage.... grinning her very Caly grin, she reached her hands to me and said, "I think you should snuggle me up!"
I couldn't help it. I cracked up and gathered her into my lap.
And you know? She hasn't been back into the plant since.