Written by Margarita Morgan
August 5, 2014
My seven year old has come up with the best defense ever to avoid being scolded for doing something wrong. Last time I gave her a talk about how she should know better than to make a mess she did not clean, she bluntly said “but I’m just a little seven year old baby!” No, she didn’t come up with this all on her own, while joking about how to best avoid mommy’s angry voice, my older children taught her to curl her lips into a pout and say this with her best sad puppy face.
Last year, she used to say this frequently in a playful tone that she knew it was not going to be taken seriously. We all joked about it and my older kids had many laughs instructing Caillen on how to best look sincere when using this phrase. Time passed by and we all forgot about it, that is, until she brought it up last week as a last recourse when she knew that I was not buying the excuses she gave me to justify the mess in her room.
She must have noticed the momentary stunned expression in my face because she started laughing right after. It caught me by surprise to realize how sincere she seemed. My very first reaction was a split second moment in which my heart warmed up and longed to spare my baby from pain, my motherly instincts were yanked right out of my disciplinarian mode and surfaced to protect my helpless child, only. . . I had heard that phrase before. As the words set in, I became aware that my dear little girl has quite an evil streak in her psyche and I couldn’t be more proud, but to employ a well rehearsed tactic in the midst of a stressful situation is right down wicked. I was impressed.
Caillen did not wait for me to counter her defense, she knew she had lost the argument, but she still walked away with a proud demeanor that reflected her witted victory. For my part, I remained amused at her wit and was a little scared as well. “Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage*, but is it a number you should not care about. At her young age, who knows what other things she plots to get her way? She may only be seven years old, but there is no age to put limits in the world of self awareness. My youngest daughter stands to be a challenge and her wit no doubt will give her an advantage along with the support of her older siblings, but I welcome the opportunity to guide her and the many challenging ways I will have to outsmart her.