So, I don't remember exactly which button the kids were pushing the other day, but it was one of those exercises where they attempt to exhaust all possibilities through the process of elimination. It was most likely the ever-irritating, "Who owns what" game that they like to throw out when they're feeling insecure. It's a control game. The rules are simple, just point at something and ask who owns it. Then challenge the response and ignore rebuttals. Repeat until you are denied something you deserve to own, then pitch a fit. Logic twisting and abusing the language barrier are fair game.
Sometimes this game is played for keeps. If a child is already in a bad mood, it's a great way to bring down someone else and/or create a 'real' reason to be angry. Other times, I'll find myself in a practice heat... I don't know why, maybe just to keep their game sharp.
Anyway, the last round happened in the kitchen, which is a terrible place because they never run out of freaking things to point at. I came home and disrupted a tournament between Chris and Y. I can imagine how it was playing out before I got there. Y would say, "Mommy's?" and point to a spoon. "We share spoons," would be the logical and therefore completely ignored reply. "Mommy's?" again. "Share. Everybody," it would start to break down. "Everybody's?" she'd question. "Yes. Everybody's." "Eheeeeverybody's?" Y would say pointing to the neighbors house. "Well, not their's but everyone in this family shares the..." "Mommy's?" she's start over, making YOU the jerk who's been caught lying because you don't know who owns the stupid spoon.
So at this point either you get really angry, or you laugh. When I walked in Chris was laughing, shaking her head. I asked what they were talking about (although I had a pretty good idea) and she just said that the children were being very scientific. "Really?" I said. "Yes, I think they're going to be scientists. They are very good at persistently approaching a problem from all different angles and possibilities," she said. "Oh," I replied, "So kinda like the velociraptors systematically attacking the electric fence in Jurassic Park?" "Yeah," she giggled. "And today I'm the fence." I knew exactly how she felt.
And speaking of electricity and learning experiences, H learned a valuable lesson about monkeying with outlets immediately after swimming. He was unplugging and re-plugging an extension cord and I told him after the second time to knock it off. Two ins and outs later he dropped the cord and stared at his hand making his 'horror of horrors- I'm too distraught to scream' face. "Yep," I said deadpan looking at his hand, "You're ok." "I am NOT OK!!!" he winced. (Note the perfect English...) I smiled and said, "The fact that you can tell me you are not ok, means you are ok." He fussed a little bit but made a remarkable recovery after a couple grueling, agonizing seconds.
Honestly though, I think the best part of his new found respect for voltage is that I think his sister, who watched the whole thing, caught onto the lesson. Generally she likes to follow in her brother's footsteps, but hopefully she won't have to repeat this one herself.