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Excuses from Down Under


With great excitement, Jer, I, and our three children moved into our brand-new home. Baby number four was on the way and we were settling in. It wasn’t a big house but perfect for our growing family. We had a big back yard, even if it as just mud at this point. I loved the convenience of having the washer and dryer inside, as well as having all new appliances, a fireplace and a force air furnace.


The duplex we had moved from was so old it only had baseboard heating. The new vent holes with grates over them intrigued Annie, who wasn’t quite five. Tina and Annie would stand over the vents as the warm air floated upward in their shared bedroom. Being so close in age, not much went unnoticed or unreported. One day Tina informed me that Annie had taken the grate off of the furnace opening and peed down it.


WHAT? Gross. I sat Annie down and told her this was inappropriate behavior and to decease and desist immediately. Actually, I just told her to not do it again and to use the toilet.


Do you ever wonder what’s going through your young child’s mind? Have you ever tied to sit down and dig deep in the intellectual workings of a four-year old’s mind when they choose to do things which seem completely irrational? I have. Kids can be really funny and quite creative when necessary.


Ike, at three, contracted a skin virus. If he touched it then put his fingers anywhere else on his body it would cause sores, in this case, leaving scabs all over his face. That Sunday at church I watched as person after person asked him what happened. One he told he fell off his big-wheel bike, another he told them he ran into a tree, and still another he told he tripped and fell on the driveway, none were true. He gave every person a different story. It was hysterical. How do they come up with these answers?


Annie was also very creative. I thought we had passed this heater vent hurdle until Tina came running to me again, “Mommy, Annie peed in the hole again.”


I marched down the hall and sat Annie down. I got right down to her level and asked, “Why would you pee in the vent?”


With her big blue eyes close to tears she squeaked out, “Because Satan told me to.”


Taken back and trying not to smile I responded, “Well, you didn’t have to listen to him.”


It was her most creative excuse for poor behavior. Thank goodness it never happened again.

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