Have you ever watched a child play? It amazes me what must be going on inside their mind. Like crawling; they wiggle and squirm and then eventually figure out ‘if I just get that one knee under me’. Or when they grasp the visual and tactile concept of matching a shape to the hole it can be dropped into. However, children also do some of the strangest things. We wonder sometimes, “What are they thinking?” I know I’m not the only parent that’s ever shook their head in wonder as to why they think something is a good decision. Think of the child that climbs onto the back of the sofa and decides to vault across the room to the china cabinet. Yeah…those kind of decisions.
My sister and I (I was maybe 4) were staying at our Grandparents and we went with Grandpa to ‘fix fence’. I sure we were useful (eyeroll). Grandpa gave me a hammer to play with and I happily went along the side of the one ton truck and pretended to ‘hammer in the bolts’. Just a little ‘tap tap’ as I went along. And then I got to the taillights and I didn’t stop. ‘Tap, tap, smash’, and again, ‘tap, tap, smash’ on the other taillight. Of course Grandpa heard the sound and looked at me and said, “Why did you do that Sandra?” And I had no idea. It didn’t seem harmful at the time. And there’s the rub. I had no idea that hammering the taillights would break them, or that if the taillights broke, that it would be bad. It was an old beat up truck! I don’t remember if I got any punishment…probably not…it was Grandpa after all.
Sometimes children do things without realizing it’s wrong, which is why they have to be taught. I remember someone telling me, ‘Do you ever wonder why you don’t have to teach a child how to do something wrong? It just happens?’ Ahhhhh, yes, you have to teach them how to do right. It’s that innate naughtiness or sin that all us humans have.
When I was maybe 8 or 9, I was playing with my Mom’s jewelry and scarves, and makeup. 😊 Something I knew I was not to be doing. The room I was in was the ‘Fuddle Duddle’ room which if you read my post ‘Precious Memories’ which you can find at this link (https://justalittlesomething.blog/2017/03/17/precious-memories/), you will understand the term, but suffice it to say it was an ‘everything’ room – makeup table, Mom’s closet, desk (which was usually covered in farm books), ironing board complete with a pile of ironing, sewing machine with a pile of mending…you get the picture. I had on her silver hoop clip-on earrings, I had put on rouge (from a stick) and lipstick of course, and some gorgeous blue eyeshadow. I was beautiful! But something was missing…ahhhh, a scarf! I took a blue, red and white scarf (I still remember which one) and proceeded to paw through her jewelry for the scarf ring to slip the ends of the scarf through to secure it as I had seen her do. But, since I couldn’t find it I decided to use her wedding band. Oh brother. On it went…and then I heard footsteps…Mom was coming. (Now I know all of you are remembering that ‘grip of fear’ when you heard parental footsteps. This is how you are suppose to move when your parents want to leave the house, but you pretend you have no idea what they are talking about). I ripped off the earrings, threw them in the box, pulled the ring off the scarf, tossed the scarf in the drawer, but Mom was quickly descending down the hall, and I threw the ring…into the abyss of the room. And then innocently stood there, forgetting I had makeup on. “Sandra, have you been in my makeup?” “Ummmmmm, a little.” Busted. She washed my face and scolded me, and I got sent to my room. I snuck back up the stairs (yes, I really listened well), and I hunted, and I hunted, and I could not find that ring. I wouldn’t confess for fear, as I knew I shouldn’t have done any of it. And there’s the rub. And I never told my Mom until years later. As in I was married and had children. When I did tell her she laughed and said, “Sam, I have my rings.” I was so relieved. She didn’t remember finding it in some obscure place, she just knew she had it, and I had my conscience relieved.
Now why, oh why, did I think throwing the ring was a good idea? And why was I doing something I wasn’t suppose to do? Because I wanted to…without thought of consequence to myself or others. I actually lied, because a lie of omission (not actually telling her what else I did) is still a lie.
I remember one of my kids (who shall remain nameless) decided to take apart an old outhouse (no longer used as an outhouse) to build a fort. I did not actually receive all the relevant information at the time the request was made. Suffice it to say that they chose to do something, because they wanted to and left out pertinent information to achieve their goal. Yep, they lied. I will say…a part of me thought it was kinda funny…and it was an old, and another place could be, and was, found for the old oil buckets that were stored in it…but that’s not the point. 😊 They wanted to, so facts were juggled to suit their goal, without thought of consequence to themselves or others.
I had to ask myself if I’m like that as an adult. Of course I am. Sometimes I creatively manipulate situations (distort the facts, lie) to get what I want. Such as rationalizing why I need to buy that new outfit, when really, I don’t, but I want it. I treat food the same way. I convince myself (lie to myself) that it’s okay, and it’s just one pie, oops, I mean piece of pie. 😉 Sometimes I’m impatient and make a wrong decision, before I consider all the facts and end up choosing unwisely. I react in fear, which usually manifests itself in anger or tears, (or running, if there’s a bear chasing me) when I realize this was not a good idea because I have not thought through my actions and subsequent consequences to myself or others.
Out of curiosity and because I like words, I looked up the phrase, “there’s the rub”.
“The phrase is Shakespeare’s. It comes from Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy: To die — to sleep. To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub! For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.
The origin is the ancient game of bowls (which Americans may know as lawn bowling; nothing to do with tenpin bowling). A rub is some fault in the surface of the green that stops a bowl or diverts it from its intended direction. The term is recorded first a few years before Shakespeare’s time and is still in use. It appears, too, in golf, in the expression rub of the green, which refers to an accident that stops a ball in play — hitting an obstacle or a bystander perhaps — and for which no relief is allowed under the rules.” (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-the3.htm)
My actions, whether based on fear, inadequate information, or selfish desire (‘fault’), can stop or divert myself, my situation, or others from an intended direction. Which could result in harming myself or others (‘hitting an obstacle or a bystander’). I found that very interesting. It made me think that as a parent I was to ‘train up a child in the way they should go’ and yet as an adult, I realize I still need training. I’m trying to listen to that ‘still small voice’… telling me to think twice.
Sometimes however, there is just no explanation for an action. When my Grandson was 3, his mom sees him standing in the back entry with no clothes on, buck naked, except her Ugg boots. “Why do you have my boots on?” His reply? “My bum was hot.” Ahhhh, in the minds of babes.
‘Just A Little Something’ for you to ponder.