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Friday, November 23, 2012

My Kid Does that, Too!

Lookie what I discovered when I opened up the DVD player to figure out what Emma (age 3) had crammed in there to make it stop working.


Yes, that is a piece of paper on top of the motherboard.  Apparently if you slide something into the DVD tray just right, it’ll float right on inside.

The object of mischief, though, was this:


Recipe for destruction: 

  • Take a piece of yarn and poke it into the DVD tray.
  • Shove the tray closed.
  • Listen to the sucker spin, trying to “read” the yarn, until it is good and jammed.

But the good news it that I got the thing open, unwound the yarn, and even retrieved the other “debris” I found, including the colored paper and some bonus dried leaves.  I even cleaned out the dust particles. 

And it now works!   Yay!

My husband is so happy

Now, he wasn’t so happy before I fixed it.

In fact, he was downright mad. 

So I reminded him of the time when David (now age 12) was this same age.

He crammed a piece of toast into the VCR.

This child is no longer known for wanton destruction.  Gone are his days of ripping up books and drawing on lampshades with pink highlighters.


David, being a “big brother” to his 2-year-old cousin

He grew and found more constructive pursuits.

I fully expect that his “baby” sister will do the same in her own time.

Someday, I will be able to cut back on my stock of Magic Erasers.058

Does this look familiar?  It really doesn’t take much to wear out a Magic Eraser!060

Not even Magic Erasers will erase everything!


This wall seems to be a favorite place to decorate since we moved the bookcases that used to be there…I’m advocating for painting it with chalkboard paint, but can’t get my husband on board with that idea.

Winking smile

Maybe it seems crazy to us, but these little ones are just trying to make things happen in the world.

She has the yarn, she can reach the DVD player…now what can she do with it?  Well insert the yarn into the DVD player, of course!  It really is perfectly logical.

All kids do these sorts of things.

But some of them are a little lot more determined and adventurous than others.

There simply are no challenges she will not attempt.  If she can’t climb it, she’ll break it, dismantle it, rearrange it, or cut it into bitty bits.008

Emma, the adventurer

I can’t blame her, really.

She wants to do the things she sees me doing.

(You should see her jumping ecstatically over the prospect of using the vacuum.)

She wants to experiment and see what happens.

She doesn’t want to be confined in a little box or sit still in her seats.

She wants to be autonomous.

But mostly, she just wants to DO!

That’s what she’s built for.  It’s how she learns.  It’s how she grows.

All kids are like this to some extent, but these fearless adventurers (and if you have one, you know what I’m talking about)…

they take it to a new level.

So, for all you moms and dads out there with a little extreme adventurer on your hands…

I feel your frustration. 

I’ve got the mangled mini-blinds.  The broken toys. 

I’ve got the CPU that was peed on (it really was an accident).

My kitchen table is engraved with pencil gouges and fork jabs.

Nothing stays “new” around here.  Nothing.

I feel your anxiety.

I’ve seen her take off her shoes and climb up the top of the tube slide, several feet above my head.

I’ve seen her slip and catch herself I don’t know how many times.

She can climb anything.  She is like Spider-Man.

Someday I just know she’s going to fall. 

Can someone please invent a portable safety net?

I feel your embarrassment.

Yes, that was my kid who caused the flood over by the water fountain at the library.

And, yes, that was my kid who climbed over one pew, crawled under another, and ran down the aisle during Mass.

I’ve heard the “you don’t discipline her enoughs.”

All the time-outs or punishments in the world wouldn’t crush her free spirit.

And why would we want to do that, anyway?

She doesn’t want to disappoint us.  She simply wants to be herself.

This one, yes she’s a little different.  She’s a little intense.

She’s a little crazy-making.

Yes, that’s true.


And we love her to pieces.

She needs something more than to just hear “No.”

We try hard to keep her safe, while appreciating her creative ingenuity.

We try to gently guide her in the right direction without boxing her in.

It’s a hard job and some days I’m not sure I’m up to the task.

Today I just wanted to say to all you moms and dads with fearless adventurers:

“Well done!”

I know it’s hard.  Someday, they will grow up and we will miss these days. 

I think.

This post has been submitted for inclusion in The Christian Home Issue 90 and

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