Children have a great way of canceling out anything their parents say. They can just look at them like they are crazy...at which point the parents should catch on that what they said did not register and the child should not be held accountable for their actions based on whatever it was the parent said. Sometimes parents just say crazy things.
Last week Andrew and I taught Sunbeams. It was great. The kids were all cute, even Charity. Charity is easy to pick out. In sacrament meeting, she's the one climbing all over the benches and running in the aisles even though her mother and sister are desperately trying to keep her under control. The primary sang this Sunday for Mother's Day, and who do you think was the one bouncing from side to side while everyone else was singing? Charity.
Well, when I went to "retrieve" Charity from her mother last Sunday, Charity jumped from the stand onto me.
"Charity," scolded her mother in a stunning British accent, "You have to be gentle. There's a baby in her tummy. No kicking or punching today."
With that her mom then turned to me and said, "She won't actually hurt you, she sometimes just gets a little carried away. You kind of have to keep your hand on her at all times. Your eye simply won't do."
Those two statements were perfectly applicable to the situation. Charity understood and was a very good girl...for about 2 seconds. And then she was back to her normal self. And then she would remember there was a baby in my stomach and would pat it and kiss it, which was a little awkward since I had just met Charity that day.
The funny thing about Charity is that she would forget things in the order she was told them.
"Charity, sit down and fold your arms, please."
Charity would sit down and fold her arms for about 3 seconds. Then she would stand up and kind of sway back and forth for 3 more seconds and then she would unfold her arms and be off again.
So, Sunbeams was an adventure last week.
This week, I didn't have to teach, but Charity came into the Relief Society room to find her mom so we did have some contact with each other. I'm not really sure what happened because suddenly Charity was jumping from chair to chair and then getting down and running around, then jumping up on the chairs again. Meanwhile, her exhausted sister and mother were frantically trying to convince her that her behavior is quite inappropriate for the Sabbath.
Well, then Charity bumped into me.
"Charity," her mother scolded in her nice crisp accent (sometimes I just wish I were British), "Now, you can't go running around. You must be careful. She's got a baby in her tummy."
Charity looked at me. She shot her mom the "you're crazy" look, and then double checked my stomach just to make sure she was right. Then she took off running as if to prove her mother wrong. She didn't even try to behave. Why? Because running around the church obviously isn't going to hurt my baby while jumping on it just might.
Sometimes I'm amazed at how well children out-think their parents.