Just an average evening in the life of budding geniuses

“How long were you under there?”

It was cat herding time once again at the Potts household also known as the half hour before bedtime. I was attempted to get a few last-minute chores in while simultaneously getting the boys ready for nighttime. I ignored Kiddo’s question, focusing instead on the task at hand.

“How long were you under there?” Kiddo repeated.

Kiddo’s voice broke through my concentration. What an odd question, I thought. I hadn’t been under anything that I could recall that evening unless you take into consideration pending deadlines, a cycle of never-ending dish washing, and self-imposed writing goals. But Kiddo has rarely, if ever, asked me how my work is going, so that couldn’t be it. “Under where?” I asked.

“You said underwear!” Kiddo threw back his head in laughter.

I sat there, stunned as the punch line sunk in. Kiddo had gotten me. I marveled at his maturing sense of humor, at the genius of the joke’s simplicity as well as Kiddo’s execution. It was a long way from his very first joke, “Once upon a time, there was a joke named joke and he was a joke!” (*da dum dum da* he’ll be here all week folks) I joined his laughter. “Very clever,” I said as I returned to my chores. “I made you said underwear!” Kiddo repeated, delighted with himself. “I got Daddy to say it too!” (word of caution to Kiddo’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, and assorted other caregivers – he’s really proud of this one, expect to hear it, over and over and over again)

Tears of laughter were welling up in Kiddo’s eyes as he turned to his brother and asked once again, “LT, how long were you under there.”

Without missing a beat, LT answers, “three minutes,” effectively beating his brother at his own game. I don’t know what exactly LT was supposedly under for three minutes (I mean I thought he was in my line of sight all this time, but with LT you never really know for sure) or how he knew the precise time, because he didn’t elaborate. Instead, LT immediately returned to plotting whatever nefarious plan to rule the world he is attempting next. This is also why I think he might just succeed.

So clearly I recognize that I am living with a budding evil genius, but maybe you don’t yet recognize the signs. If you are afraid you too may be raising the next crop of megalomaniacs intent on world domination, you may want to be on the lookout for a few of the following:

  1. Do they frequently use your best of intentions for their own gain?
    • You said the first day of summer is the longest day of the year. It was supposed to be a fun little fact to amuse and educate your offspring with. Instead you get, “If Mr. Sun isn’t going to bed, why do I have to?”
  2. Have you picked up an alarming “minion” vibe from their closest friends?
    • monkey toys

      exhibit A: The usual suspects

  3. Do you find yourself struggling to maintain your game face when they turn up the charm?
    • Because it is bedtime.
    • But why?
    • Because it is a school night and you have to go to bed now.
    • I no wanna go to school anyyyyyy mo.
    • You like school. All your friends will be at school. Don’t you want to play with your friends?
    • But I love you, momma. I wan to stay with you. Five mo minutes? (cue quivering lip)
    • (As little arms encircle your neck in best snuggle hug ever, feel your will break… Again.) Okay honey, five more minutes, but then it is bedtime. I mean it.
  4. Do they have an unusually intense obsession with potential lairs
    • volcano

      Exhibit B : Depiction of an erupting volcano. Note the artist’s use of broad strokes and bold colors to convey violence – one of many examples lining our walls

  5. Are they entirely too smart for their own good?
    • Reference story above

On the plus side, the children have decided to grace me with more than a couple of nights in a row of sleep. Obviously, they are up to something, but I’ve been taking advantage of it while I can. I’ve made significant gains in my manuscript (even though this current draft is pretty terrible, even by first draft standards) and have been taking a stab at some shorter fiction (I may even try to find homes for some of them). I’d better take advantage. Who knows when this opportunity might come again.

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37 thoughts on “Just an average evening in the life of budding geniuses

  1. Yep, I recognize all the signs, although my two have moved on a bit from some of them. For example, they’re not only two smart for their own good, but probably for the good of humanity at this point.

    One of my children’s earliest jokes that I remember genuinely laughing at (rather than pretending to laugh at) was when my younger son told me I should be very scared of his mug of Darjeeling or whatever it was. I asked why and he said, “Because it’s all my tea!”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is a wonderful story. The joke is a good one, and the fact that he managed to get both of his parents with one joke makes it even better. I like your list, especially the photo of the Usual Suspects. There’s definitely something sinister about that gang.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The strangest thing is the usual suspects seem to be multiplying. Every year there seems to be another one or four, all watching you with that same empty grin and putting up with all manner of LT’s games without complaint.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How are you managing with bed time in the summer? I tell you, mine asked to stay up an hour later, and try as I might, I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no. So they’re staying up an hour later.

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    • I’ve gave them an extra half hour willingly, however they’ve taken an additional half hour by force through a coordinated campaign of “I’m thirsty,” “I can’t find my book or other assorted toy,” (LT you can’t read yet and even if you could the lights are supposed to be off) and “I heard HRH barking.” Thankfully summer’s extra sunlight hasn’t been much of a factor as my home seems to have magically transported itself to the Amazon with nights darkening early due to regular thunderstorms. Of course this has led to another bed time delay tactic – “Too scary.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Too many years have passed since my own offspring were the age of yours, but I’m beginning to see some familiar behavior exhibited by my 19-month old granddaughter. I can’t wait for the fun to begin! Thanks for the memories (and peek at the future). 🙂

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  5. Your post put such a huge smile on my face! I love it! Probably because my kids have used a similar joke on me. Except it was “What’s under there?” instead. They tell it over and over and over again. Their latest favorite, though, is one they heard on the radio a couple days ago while we were all driving in the car: “Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because he wasn’t peeling well!”

    Gotta love kid humor.

    Anyway, my kids, too, are budding geniuses. And I totally have trouble keeping my game face while they are up to trouble. They are just too darn cute! But at least they keep life interesting (and entertaining).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE that joke! I am going to tell it to Kiddo later today. I bet he’ll crack up.

      The game face is so very difficult. LT got into trouble the other day, but he did it so innocently that I had to remind my husband that he was not to laugh under any circumstances as to not send the wrong message. We wound up having to go to another room, the temptation was too great.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. Hubby and I are great at communicating with each other using only an expression because our kids are in the room. I have to use my don’t-you-dare-laugh-right-now expression all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

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