I’d always assumed by this age I’d be much smarter.  But instead, I’m just me – smart enough to know what I know well, but not so smart to see right through the lies of a clever 4 year old boy, or the pitch of a door-to-door salesman selling a lovely bridge in Brooklyn.  I’m an incredibly easy mark, California friendly, always eager to chat, and even more eager to believe whatever you’re saying.  My years spent hanging out with my total opposite, the ultimate skeptic otherwise known as Dick, have made me slightly more on guard than I was in my youth, but by and large I’m a little lamb ready to show you the way to the nearest slaughterhouse if you seem nice enough.

Of course, the experience of parenting is the ideal slaughterhouse for lambs.  While I may not be getting any wiser in my old age, having a kid who’s thisclose to being smarter by age 6 than I’ll ever be, is really forcing me to stay on my toes (something I tend to avoid doing unless there are a really fetching pair of heals to support me).  But there’s no hiding my gullibility from Adam; he’s on to me and much like his father, all too keen on exploiting my weaknesses for his twisted amusement.

For instance, on the way home from daycare today Adam told me, out of the blue, that he’s changing classrooms.

“I’m moving into Miss Jessie’s cwass in Febwuawy.”

“What?  Who’s Miss Jessie?  Why are you being moved?  Is she nicer than Miss Melissa?”

“Miss Jessie’s nice.  She’s the new teachew.  I’m going to move to hew cwass in Febwuawy.”

“But, why?  Have you been being a really good boy lately, or something?”, I ask hoping against hope that he’s somehow managed to change labels with the teaching staff from “challenging, but smart” to “delightful, and hungry for learning.”

“No. I have to go to the new cwasswoom because Miss Mewissa is weaving.”

“Awww.  I’m sorry to hear that.  We’re sure going to miss her…”, I say ducking from what is surely the incoming lightning bolt sent to strike me down for telling such a whopper.

“Are your friends going to Miss Jessie’s class with you?”

“No. It’s just going to be me and Johnathan.”

Hearing this, my heart falls into my stomach.  If there’s one thing, as a parent, that I never want to hear it’s that my borderline good kid is being grouped with the school’s most notorious trouble-maker.  Johnathan’s well-documented antics are like the seductive dance of a flame to a moth; Adam can’t resist.  Whenever the two of them get together, an injury, an angry note home, or an emergency parent/teacher conference is sure to follow.

“You and Johnathan are going to some new classroom, with a brand new teacher – one with no clue what kind of explosive materials she’s playing with here?  Where are the rest of your friends going?”

“They’we going to outew space with Miss Mewissa.”


“Mommy, I said, they’we going to outew space with Miss Mewissa,” he yelled from the back seat.

I turned back and looked him in the eye.  The mischief was poorly concealed, leaping through his sparkling blue eyes. As the truth became apparent to me, his rosy lips parted into an enormous smile and the belly laugh he’d no doubt been suppressing for the last several minutes finally escaped from him in spasms of gut-busting delight.

“Outer space?  Miss Melissa is going to outer space? Uh, I think you’ve been teasing me…”

“Yeah.  Miss Mewissa isn’t going to outew space.  She doesn’t dwive a wocket ship to schoow – only a twuck,” he said as if the idea was the most ridiculous thing anyone ever said.

“So, are you going to Miss Jessie’s class in February?  Is there even a person named Miss Jessie or did you make that part up, too?”

I never did hear an answer to my questions.  As we pulled into the driveway, the spasms of laughter gave way to a multi-syllabic belch delivered with an impressive amount of gusto.  

“I buwped – ewwww – gross!  I’m totawy disgusting, Mommy.”

“Yes you are.  I think you’re totally cute, but I see right through you.  Now go inside and work on your story for Daddy.  You’re going to have to keep it going a lot longer if you want him to buy it.  He’s much smarter than I am…”

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