As a father I am no stranger to surprises. Sponges in the toilet, my car keys in the garbage disposal; but every once in a while a child will come up with something so devious I am left to do nothing but stare in wonder.
The other day I visited my neighbor, his wife, and his two young girls. I’d been there for a while chatting with my friend at the kitchen table, when his three and a half year old daughter Sarah strolled into the room.
As we talked, Sarah pushed a chair to the counter, climbed up, and grabbed a brand new package of Oreos. This was nothing all that unusual in itself, but there was one thing that caught my attention; it was the way she opened the bag. Most kids her age would have just torn the package to shreds or smashed it with whatever blunt instrument was handy, but not her. She took her time, carefully pulling the edges apart, making an opening just large enough to get a single cookie out. As I watched, I figured she would take a couple of Oreos and go, but that wasn’t the case. One after the other Sarah worked the cookies out of the tiny hole, stacking them on the counter as she went. When she was done, she pressed the opening closed with her tiny fingers then set the empty package back on the counter right where she’d found it.
By now she had also attracted the attention of her father.
“I hope you don’t think you’re going to eat all of those young lady.” He said.
Sarah looked at us and showed a grin the Cheshire cat would have been proud of.
“Put’en ‘em in the cookie jar daddy.” She said with an innocent tone, but that grin told us both a different story.
Our conversation forgotten, we watched as she placed the cookies into the jar next to her. When they were all tucked safely away, she swept her hands across the counter in true toddler fashion, then she the picked up the jar and jumped down off the chair.
“Now where are you going?” Dad said.
Still grinning, Sarah rushed her stash around the corner, set it on the ground, then came back, suddenly unable to contain a gale of childish giggles.
She stood between us on the far side of the table, peeking just over the top, staring at the spot where the empty bag of cookies lay.
I shrugged and looked at my friend who returned my look of utter confusion.
Then, as if on cue, her older sister entered the room. She went to the refrigerator; pulled out a half gallon of milk, then set it down next to the Oreo package. As soon as she picked up the empty wrapper Armageddon began. She screamed and looked around for her sister. She found her standing between us, laughing now, uncontrollably. This three year old girl had just spent almost 20 minutes setting up this elaborate scheme just so she could see her sister cry.
Admittedly it was a pretty rotten thing to do, but it was so creative even her father found himself stifling his laughter.
After a few screaming laps around the table mom came in and brought some sense to the festivities. Sarah gave back the cookies and her sister took them away in a huff, vowing a tearful revenge. Frankly I don’t think she stands a chance. Any kid that can come up with a prank like that at three and a half is either destined for greatness or prison. I don’t know what she’ll grow up to be, but I pity her bosses, and more so, her future husband.
A short while later the tears dried up and mom finished dolling out her dose of the evil eye. Everything went back to normal, or as normal as things could be in that house, and I went home knowing I would NEVER turn my back on little Sarah again.
Have you ever been shocked by the actions of a kid? I’m sure we all have. If you have a good story I would love to hear about it. Happy reading and remember, keep your cookies hidden and your chair to the kitchen wall!