Saturday, September 24, 2005

Thinking sdrawkcaB

Nicky! and the Beautiful Ms. Kate
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Thinking sdrawkcaB

Nicky, the almost-four year old, came running into the kitchen nook this morning where I was working and grabbed at the chess board that was on the table. I noticed that he was completely and care-freely butt-naked, and so I immediately reacted, “Why is your underwear off?”

Startling him, if only because he had not realized he was doing anything wrong, he stuttered and replied, “Because, because I was going to the bathroom upstairs and left them off.”

“Okay,” I answered with the roll of my eyes, adding, “Please go upstairs and put your underwear back on. And then you can come back to get the chessboard.”

In a flash, he had returned and was properly dressed as I had ordered. Except that his briefs were on backwards. So I implied he turn them around by looking at him sternly and pointed out, “Nicky, your pants are on backwards.”

He somewhat-innocently replied, half shyly, half wryly, “But I like it backwards.”

I was intrigued and softened by his earnest reply, and so I pressed, if only because I was questioning my own thoughts on the matter, “Why do you like it backwards?”

“Because it looks funny backwards,” he responded with a slight smile that teetered on the edge of hope and persuasion.

I immediately burst out laughing at this point and was instantly won over to the dark side of juvenile amorality, that special place where impropriety knows better because it doesn’t know any better.

He smiled back and grabbed at the board as I said, “Okay” and ran barefoot away to the living room to play with his older brother.

I really was quite taken aback by how ludicrously bothered I had initially been by the whole incident and amazed at how silly it was for me to hold to my prudent sense of order in response. It is utterly amusing to reflect on how serious we take life as adults sometimes.

As difficult and bothersome it sometimes seems to be a parent, especially when I am trying to focus on “accomplishing” something, I am grateful for moments like these that remind me about how grateful I should be to have children who reveal how inane our rules of behavior and the rickety frames of "mature" thought can truly be.

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