You know how kids get to this age where you can make them perform? Like dogs? All good parents take advantage of that stage. And by “good” I mean “exploitive.” If you haven’t ever said, “Show us your funny face!” to your child when friends are over? You’re a better man than I.
When LilZ was between 1 and 3 I had him trained to do all sorts of tricks. I’d say, “How big is LilZ?” and he would raise his arms up wide over his head while I screeched, “SO BIG!” Eventually, I would even be able to say things like, “How smart is momma?” and he’d respond in the same manner. This was a huge hit at the dinner parties because it was funny in that not-so-subtle way. If you asked him where his feet were, or how old he was, or who is momma…he’d answer each one of them in whatever manner he could: pointing, speaking, laughing. He was a great sideshow act in my motherhood performance.
His sister, on the other hand, is not so cooperative. Now, her classmates all know the drill. I’ll say, “Give me five!” and they’ll slap my hand excitedly. They’ll show me where their nose is and they’ll give me a hug if I ask. NikkiZ? Not so much. She’ll usually respond properly the first few times we discover she understands a question. However, the second we try to get her to do it for the in-laws, she acts like she can’t even hear us. At their house on Sunday, we kept saying, “Show us your tongue!” which she would ignore wholeheartedly. She had been showing us her tongue all weekend, but the second we indicated it was something we wanted her to do on command, she immediately lost the taste for it.
I’m not sure if she likes making us look like morons, or if she’s just stubborn. (Like her FATHER, of course. She doesn’t get that from ME.) There is also the slight possibility that she thinks we’re idiots. You know, like when we say, “Where’s your belly?” She looks at us like, “Seriously? You don’t know where it is? Are you HIGH?” It’s hard to tell sometimes. In reality – it’s probably a combination of all things. She thinks we’re idiots for not knowing where her nose is and decides to make us look even more foolish by not showing us. All the while she’s thinking, “Jesus Christ. If they’re this slow to learn the names and locations of their body parts, how in the hell are they going to teach me about sex?”