I have a bit of a cold today. You know, runny and stuffy nose, cough, feeling like crap. It goes with other feelings I have right now, but that is for another time. There’s a little girl who lives with us now. She’s four and her mind is like a sponge soaking up information both good and bad.
I’ll touch on the unpleasant habits later but the good things she’s learning are numbers especially when her mother announces “One…Two…Three.” She knows not to cross the threshold after three because of the dire consequences involved; letters of the alphabet which she already know A is for her name and P is for her brother’s name. So, all the things that has her first name initial is hers and all the stuff that belongs to her brother is labeled with his first name initial.
She knows what no means, because her mother and most recently all the other adults in the household has repeatedly told either “no,” “don’t do that,” or “we already told you not to, yet you do it anyway.”
I’m sure she feels that we adults are picking on her so unfairly especially when she shows us her pouty expression and her eyes take on that woe-is me expression, as if we are supposed to feel empathy or sympathy toward her plight. I don’t because I’m not sympathetic or empathetic when it comes to four-year-old girls.
I’m sure she will someday understand that rules are there for a reason, but at four, she isn’t buying into it. She wants to push the envelope and try to get away with as much as possible before getting caught.
I remember how I was at four. Dad had just moved us to East Wenatchee in 1962 and Me being the adventurous sort decided to explore the world, walking about the neighborhood, meeting new people, soaking in the sights and the sites that upon hindsight was not the smartest thing for a four-year-old to engage.
Mother was at least worried sick, at best she wanted to tan my hide for making her worried to death. Twice a deputy sheriff pulled into some stranger’s house because either Mom called them, or the concerned neighbor called asking about a little boy who might be lost.
Fortunately, this little girl isn’t like me, or her mother would be pulling her hair out by now. Her negative attributes she obviously also picked up from adults, such as being selfish, greedy, and envious are all too apparent too especially when she doesn’t get her way and she throws a temper tantrum.
She and her brother have inspired me to write a chapter in the latest book I’m writing. In it, the antagonist, who is a hired assassin, abducts one of the protagonists along with a mother and four children, ranging in age from four to ten. This man has no idea what he has gotten himself into.