What I Said
I've been remiss in sharing stories about the kids in my family, even though my sister has sent along a passel of awesome anecdotes with her permission to post them.
As regular readers may recall, for privacy purposes I only refer to my nieces by their first initials, E and M, but I call my nephew Ishmael because his initial happens to be the same as a personal pronoun that I have now used three times in this sentence alone. Me talking about "I" could be confusing.
Ishmael is heading towards four years old, adorable, and big. His likes include Toy Story, superheroes, his mommy's lap, building things, and knocking things down. His dislikes include being told what to do.
He still loves to play with his older sisters, but his relationship with them is no longer just extremes of jealousy and idolatry. Couple these more complex interactions with the first stirrings of independence from his parents, and you get situations like him approaching my sister recently to say, "Don't go into my room."
Any parent of a small child who hears that thinks two things. One: "Um... I'm going into your room." Two: "You know, I probably wouldn't have been suspicious if you hadn't told me not to go into your room, so thanks for that."
My sister goes into his room and doesn't see anything out of place, but she does know where he likes to stash some treasured objects. She opens up his tin and sees a trinket belonging to one of his sisters. "Wow!" says Ishmael, who is shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here. "M probably wants that back!"
Sometimes the hardest thing about being a grown-up is not letting the kids see you laugh when you're supposed to be mad.