The other day I watched as my 6-year-old daughter made the conscious decision to be annoying. I could practically see the resolution play out on her face. Once decided, she got up from the playroom couch, walked in front of the TV her brother was using to play video games, and grabbed a pad of paper and pencil.
She walked over to the dog. “Tybalt sleeping by the door, check!” With a flourish she checked off her imaginary list, then walked over to me. “Are you writing, Mommy?”
“Yeah, I’m writing.” I said cautiously. She returned to her list, “Mommy’s writing on her computer, check!”
Then she went back to the playroom. This was where her ultimate purpose would be realized. The dog and I – we were just the set up. The first level in her little plot. Now it was time for the real goal to play out.
“J?” she asked innocently, “Are you playing the Wii?”
“Yeah,” her brother said distracted.
“J losing at Madden 10, check!”
“I’m not losing!” he yelled at her. “What are you doing?”
“J says ‘what are you doing?’, check!”
“R …” I said in my warning voice. She ignored me.
The video game paused. “R!” my son shouted. “What are you doing with that paper?”
“J says ‘R, what are you doing with that paper’, check!”
The video game came back on – my son’s attempt at ignoring his sister.
“J,” my daughter said, “say ‘what’.”
“No,” he responded with finality.
“J says no, check!”
The next thing I heard was a slam, paper ripping, then my daughter’s tears. I comforted the tears, told my son not to hit – even when someone deserved it – then suggested that my daughter play in another room for a while. And she was perfectly fine with that. She’d created the drama she was hoping for. Now she was ready for a new game.
As she flitted off to draw flowers on her drawing board, I couldn’t help but be amazed. The forethought that little girl had! I only hope that one day she will use her plotting powers for good and not evil:)