Last night I watched my baby repeatedly shut his hand in a drawer. He'd open the small drawer in my nightstand, wrap his fingers over the top, and shut the drawer again. Then he'd turn bright red and look at me with a look of shock, horror and a hint of accusation. How could you keep such a dangerous piece of furniture?
The first time it happened I rushed to his side and rescued his slightly bent fingers. I rubbed them back into shape and kissed away his tears. He seemed satisfied and crawled off to play with his brother. Then, not five minutes later, I heard him straining and starting to panic. There he was, with his fingers caught in the same drawer, trying to free his hand using brute strength. It wasn't working. I walked over, more slowly this time, and opened the drawer to release his hand. I rubbed his fingers again, but this time quickly and with an exasperated lecture on why he shouldn't put his fingers in drawers in the first place.
Once again he crawled away and I went back to running his bath. Two minutes later he was back at the drawer. As I watched him slam his hand in the drawer yet again, all I could think was, Why?!?
Why would you continue to do something you know is going to cause you pain? Isn't the first rule in evolution: if it hurts it could kill you, and if you die you can't pass on your stupid genes, so STOP IT? I'm sure I read that somewhere. Either way, it's common SENSE.
Then I started thinking about all the other evolutionarily unproductive decisions my kids make every day. Clearly they would never survive in the wild.
10 terrible decisions that sound perfectly reasonable to your toddler:
1. Poking the sleeping dog—as COMICAL as it is to watch the little fur-balls jump a foot in the air while barking in surprise, it's a good way to land yourself in the emergency room. My three year old learned this lesson the hard way.
2. Running outside naked…in the snow—I used to fight my son to get him to wear something other than his Lightning McQueen underpants outside when it was 15 degrees, but I quickly learned that it's much more efficient to let him come to this decision on his own. It usually takes him about 30 seconds to run back in the house, teeth chattering, to ask “WHERE ARE MY PANTS?” By George, I think he's got it!
3. Hiding perishable food for later—No matter how delicious the chicken strips are, they will NOT taste as good when you find them stuffed into the couch cushions a week later. It's not worth it. *Grabs MEGAPHONE* Just eat your dinner before it molds!
4. Flushing Play-Doh down the toilet—I try to encourage creativity and imagination in my children in whenever possible. However, while I agree that the GREENISH-brown lump that results from mixing every possible color of Play-Doh resembles a turd, it does not belong in the toilet. Until you're old enough to use a plunger, I get the final say in what does and does not go in the toilet. My life is so very glamorous.
5. Painting the dogs—It may be true that the addition of neon pink GLITTER paint increases the dogs' curb appeal, but they tend not to enjoy it. In fact, they tend to eat it and then I spend the next four days picking up dog poop that looks like Liberace.
6. Hiding the TV remotes—This is a simple case of cause and effect. If you make the remote disappear then I can't play Thomas the Train for the 4,000th time. On second thought, this is a great idea. Carry on.
7. Pulling your own testicles—This is the same principle as slamming your hand in the drawer. If it hurts, don't do it. If it doesn't hurt, still don't do it because it's creepy, and I'd someday like to have grandchildren of my own.
8. Pulling your brother's testicles—Unless you like getting punched in the nose, that is.
9. Sticking raisins up your nose—The same goes for marbles, beads, popcorn kernels, crayon tips, dog food, rocks, and your finger. I wish I was making these up.
10. Eating the contents of your diaper—Your body has chosen to discard these items. I think it's safe to assume that there is nothing worth salvaging in your poop. It does not contain prizes and it does not, under any circumstances, make good finger paint. Maybe if you took the raisins out of your nose you'd smell why.
What terrible decisions do your children make over and over?