It was too quiet upstairs.
I sighed, inwardly. I hated it when he called me “Ma”. It made me feel like I should weigh about 270 pounds, dress in rough homespun, and be driving a team of mules with my large, work-reddened hands.
“What are you doing?”
“I be good.”
Hmmm. Doubtful. Being good was never that quiet, so I left the dishes where they were and dried my hands on a towel as I made the journey up the stairs to the playroom.
When I arrived he was kneeling on the train table, his back to me. At the sound of my steps he turned around and held up a puzzle piece with a gigantic, toothy smile. “See, Ma? Good. Be good.”
Huh, whattya know. He was being good.
“You doing a puzzle, Squid?”
His smile grew even wider, his blue eyes innocent. “Yeah, Ma!”
“Yes, Mama,” I corrected.
“Yeah, Ma!” he repeated.
“Alright, you keep being good then.” I went backstairs to finish cleaning up the oatmeal they’d splattered everywhere during breakfast. Five or ten minutes passed, with him still silently doing puzzles upstairs. I called up occasionally, to make sure he was still alive.
“Are you being good, Squid?”
“Be good!” he’d chirp back, in a happy tone.
Was it possible my almost two year old was some kind of child genius who could entertain himself quietly for 20 minutes straight, without moving, playing with a puzzle that was designed for 5 year olds?
My mom-senses tingling, I made my way to the playroom again. Squid turned around at my approach, and held up the puzzle piece.
“See, Ma? Be good.” Smiling, he waved the puzzle piece at me…. in an attempt to distract me as he hunched his body forward, hiding something. I took a few steps to the side… and saw the 5 pound bag of brown sugar he’d stolen from the countertop.
“SQUID! DID YOU GET INTO THE SUGAR AGAIN?” I stared down at him, at his sugar-encrusted face and hands, and at the open bag between his knees.
He looked back up at me, blue eyes large, and shook his head.
“No, Ma. No. DagonMokey di’ it.”
Awesome. Not even two years old and he already knows the fine art of lying.
Whoever says they like little kids because they’re “so honest and forthright” sure hasn’t spent a lot of time hanging around them.
“No. No, Ma. I no peacup buttah. No eat. Nope.”)