Tuesday, April 8, 2008


(Edited at end)

So I'm cooking dinner, and Katya comes into the kitchen.

"Mom, how would I find out what year I would have been born in if I were a different age?."

Yeah, I know, the bells SHOULD have gone off. I, however, thought, "Great! Let's make the most of this teachable moment!"

Me: "What year is it?"
Katya: "2008."
Me: "Now subtract the age from 2008. In other words, what is 2008 minus the age?"

She smiled happily and skipped away from the kitchen. I went back to rolling meatballs.

Then this morning, after Katya had left for school, I found THIS next to the computer.

My seven-year-old is doing four digit subtraction... OK... that's great... But to figure out her birth year as an eighteen-year-old? ON-LINE????????

I went through the history of visited websites and it appears that Little Miss Hot-Shot Mathematician is also Little Miss Hot-Shot Wanna-Be TRAVEL AGENT!!!!! Unless my husband was planning some kind of great surprise (he's NOT), my seven-year-old tried to book us on a vacation at EuroDisney in Paris!!!! Better that than an accidental discovery of porn, but COME ON! I guess our child filters on the computer don't quite take into consideration European travel!

Shocked, I went to tell Chris... A bit upset by her secrecy, I must admit; she had to have known she was doing something she shouldn't be. And what does my "head-of-the-household" hubby do? Chuckle a deep, deep chuckle of admiration as he shook his head... "Brilliant. What a brilliant little sneak."

Brilliant, yes... But parenting such brilliance... And dealing with her ability to sneak has me going gray. Oh, make that, I've now been coloring my hair to cover the gray for so long (um, seven years...) that you can change that "going" to "made me go." Now that she can read, I see it's a whole new ball game.

Her first two-word sentence (I'm NOT kidding) was muttered under her breath at the age of 13 months... I had reprimanded her for the umpteenth time to not play with Grandma's hard drive. Finally, I picked her up and made her leave the room. As she sulked down the hall, glaring back at me, she said to herself--yet loudly enough that I thought I was hallucinating-- "Just wait..." You heard that right! And so did my mom--as Katya repeated it again, unaware that my mom was right there. (In case you're wondering, her first word was, "No!" as she threatened to put her finger in an electric socket--knowing she shouldn't--as I raced to stop her).

Can I "just" say that I didn't have to "wait" all that long?

Maybe I need a vacation. I hear there's someone who can hook me up.

Edited Tuesday p.m.

I don't think Katya really thought she was doing anything wrong. She did know she was supposed to be playing the games I approve, but thought "I'm still at Disney..." so it wasn't against the rules. After talking it over with her, she thought she was surprising us--she knew you can't actually buy anything without money and that she's not allowed to do anything like that.

About that birth date, though... She said she was getting information for me, so that's why she needed to know a year would make one eighteen. On the chance she didn't realize that that is lying, I very clearly explained to her that it, in fact, was... and that you don't lie EVER. She knows this was a one-time "you made a mistake, let's learn from it, don't ever do it again" moment...

As far as getting to that whole travel section... She got lead astray by all the different buttons on the Disney.com website, away from Playhouse Disney kids' games. It's not that hard to do; I've seen them accidentally navigate away on other sites, too.

That's why she didn't destroy her scrap of paper with the subtraction; she didn't think I'd be upset.

All in all, it's definitely more humorous than criminal. It's certainly a warning, though. It'll be great when I get a laptop; then they can come to the dining area when they want to use the computer--and I can watch them while I'm in the kitchen. Frankly, they don't use the computer very much, so it's not a huge problem. They prefer their Leapsters, anyway.


Tina in CT said...

I'm sitting here laughing. It didn't start until I read Chris' comment as I can even hear the tone of his voice and his chuckling and see his head bobbing back and forth. Oh my, you two sure are in for a rough path until she heads off to college! I am sitting right where I was when she uttered those "just wait" words at 13 months. I remember our looking at each other as she trotted off and we asked each other if we heard her correctly. We both almost fell off our chairs. It all began when she refused to take a bottle all day when she started day care at 3 months when you went back to your teaching job.....Oh, you should have seen it coming!

Glad I'm the grandma. I had my turn with you but she and Natalia sure made you look like a piece of cake!

Cecelia said...

She is one smart little girl. She has good parents and a secure home and she'll turn out just fine. You'll just have to keep coloring your gray hairs. But just think of all the memories. My children growing up provides a wealth of stories to tell for the children's story at church each week. I still haven't fun out of stories.

HRH said...

OMG...you are so in trouble when she gets closer to the age she figured she was...

Nataliya said...

OMG, she's just brilliant!

Anonymous said...

i am sending you a regular email right now


garnet said...

From an outsider's view this is hilarious! I suspect my opinon would differ if it were Larissa, though.

However, I think I'm fairly safe. She hasn't got the slightest clue that such a thing could be done. Guess there are a few advantages to having a child who's not brilliant!

Muddy said...

Well brilliant except for the fact she left evidence of what she was doing right in plain sight(and unknown in the history) and didn't destroy it.

Dread the day she does both.

Rachael said...

I'm second Chris' assessment: a brilliant little sneak!

Annie said...

The whole internet thing is terrifying! They can do all sorts of things that they don't realize are wrong.... But that is "The Way We Live Now", I guess, to borrow a favorite Trollope title.

Tami said...

I have to admit...I giggled. Heehee! I'm so glad it's not one of my kids! :) Although the EuroDisney vacation sure would be nice!

P.S. - Sorry I've been gone for so long. Life is crazy here. I'm heading out to read the last 21 posts I missed. You should have plenty of comments to read in the morning! :)

Melissa Q. said...

what a story, tam. did we ever do anything like that at Renbrook?