Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is it Real or Is it Fake?

If you are thinking this is gossip about some celebrity's plastic surgery, sorry. That's just not my thing. Instead, it is just about me and my desire to savor that last morsel of pure toddler honesty.

Babies basically have a few different cries: Hungry, Tired, Wet or Wanting Attention. A mom hears the cry and springs into action. That's how moms work.

As they hit the toddler stage, they developed a few new ones: For example, there's the "but I don't want to" cry. The "fighting back the tears/frown face turning into the quivering lip/turning into the whimper" cry. The full on "The world is coming to an end" cry. But my most cherished one is THE cry. The forced out "I want to get my way" fake cry.

When the girls were little and would start that cry, we usually just laughed and asked "Is it real or is it fake?" Their answer… "Hiiitttttssss faaaahhyyyykkee." That just made us laugh harder. They would usually stop crying long enough to yell "Stop laughing, it's not funny." We would insist "Then don't smile!" They would giggle and we would defuse it without much incident. Strangers that caught us in the act would give us perplexed looks until they heard the "Hiiitttttssss faaaahhyyyykkee" then they would giggle too. DH and I would mix up the order of the question to ensure that they weren't just picking the second choice and we even sometimes used it on real cries to make sure we could get the correct answer.

Just recently, I've had to prod the girls with "Are you telling the truth?" When something happened, I already know the answer – I just want them to tell me. It wasn't until recently that non-truths became an issue.

Then there's nap time today. I was upstairs constructing tents to nap in, a luxury they get when they behave. The girls decided to race to the top of the stairs. Miss M had it hands-down but it sent Miss K into turmoil. "I wanted to beat her!" She was genuinely upset and I figured I would spend extra time cuddling her before her nap.

Me: "Let me tuck in Miss M, then I'll come tuck you in."
Realizing I wasn't going to let a small tantrum interrupt the nap schedule, Miss K started the whiny cry.
I finished with Miss M and walked Miss K to her room.
Miss K: (whining) "But I wanted to win."
Me: "I know, but you can try again next time."
Fighting to stay awake, Miss K channeled all her energy. (crying) "Buhhtt my haaand hurrts."
Knowing it hasn't worked in a while, I decided to try. "Is it real or is it fake?"
Miss K: (crying) "Buhhtt I huurrrt my haaand."
I looked at her hand and it had a small scratch on it. Nothing major but I kissed it and made it better. Going out on a limb, I asked "Are you sad or do you just need my attention?"
Miss K: (crying) "Juhhsstt uh-tennttion."
It made my day to know that there's still a little bit of that pure honesty still left in her.

I cradled her for a while then asked if she wanted to sleep in my bed instead of the tent and she said yes. But she said I had to lay down with her. And I did. And we were happy.