These are the unassailable, unavoidable and uncontrollable actions that will make you seriously question your child’s sense. But she is a child, and what she does is mostly senseless. And these are the things all children do, have done since time immemorial, and will continue to do until the end of time.
These “things kids just do” can be wholly maddening. But you are powerless to stop them. So stop trying.
For example: If there is a lit candle anywhere near a small child, that small child will seek it out and immediately extinguish it. A child physically cannot let a flame remain burning. They must blow it out. They have no other choice.
It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you will say something in front of your child that you shouldn’t say in front of a child. You may make five thousand other comments within earshot of your child, but they will only be able to repeat that single unsavory comment. And they will repeat it word for word, usually in front of someone like their teacher or your mother.
If you ask a child to dress herself, she is bound to dress in something inappropriate. Since you’ve asked her to do something and she has actually followed through with doing it, you cannot make her change. That’s how children get sent to preschool wearing an 18-month-old’s tie-dyed sundress, rain boots and a leopard print beret, and to a nice restaurant in a Tinkerbelle pajama top and a tutu.
Once a child asks “Why?”, they cannot stop asking “Why?” You will explain yourself until you’re blue in the face and they will still punctuate the end of the conversation with, “Why?”
Children will say random and awkward things while standing in line at the Post Office or another crowded public place. Example: “Mom, thanks for teaching me how to wipe my butt.”
A small child cannot fathom why she shouldn’t lie on her stomach in the driveway and slurp snowmelt out of a puddle like a dog.
If a toddler figures out how to open a container, the contents of said container are destined for the floor. Immediately.
To a child, the inside of the refrigerator is a mysterious otherworld. When you open the door to a refrigerator, a child can see that gleaming, otherworldly light from a room away. She will have scrunched her entire body inside the fridge before you have a chance to shut the door.
A child will always put stickers where they don’t belong. There is no home in America that houses a child and does not also have stickers stuck to toilets, leather couches, front windows and antique furniture.
Children will also always scribble on the wall.
Children will also always torment cats.
And lastly, a child rarely remembers to wear underwear. So if she dresses herself in a skirt, remember to check for panties before she goes to gymnastics class.