My child. She's smart. And infuriating. This was the conversation at breakfast:
Me: Hannah, put that down and drink your milk.
Hannah: (not putting it down)
Me: Put it down, I said.
Hannah: (holding it just off the table)
Me: (taking it out of her hand and throwing it onto the table). Why don't you obey when I speak to you?
Hannah: There are so many things I want to learn about.
Me: Do you want to learn about spankings.
Hannah: Nope. (drinks milk in one pull)
Did I say she's smart? I meant inventive. The object in question was a pot holder. Not much to learn there, as far as I can tell. That kid can think up a lie and think it up quick. She and the Grinch are pals. I know very well that asking a child why they disobey is not EVER going to produce an answer that is satisfactory to the parent. I caution other people about that all the time. I think I do it just to hear what new nonsense my child will come up with. Two years ago I found Hannah in her room pouring a glass of water on a pile of pillows nearly as tall as she was. Her explanation: she was trying to learn about water conservation. Water Conservation? What kind of 4 year old uses that as an excuse for bad behavior. That sounds like something college kids try to pass off as an explanation of why they were skinny dipping in the President of the University's koi pond. After the obligatory time out for her, and one for me to control my giggles, the truth came out: she was pretending to make a cake. That would have been some cake, I tell you.
There is usually method to her madness. Sometimes the object is just to see how far I'll let her go, I can be sure of that. But most of the time, she's actually doing something. Just not necessarily something I think is a good idea.