The other day, Secondo and I were in her room, changing her clothes for the sixth or seventh time that day, before Mr. Bailey and I headed out for dinner. At 4 years old, Secondo already has the outfit change down to a Superman-like science. In two minutes flat, she can skitter off unnoticed to her magic outfit telephone booth and slip back in, unnoticed, in a completely different ensemble.
Secondo’s room, sweetly decorated while she was just a wee babe with hand-painted green and purple strips, handmade canvases expressing love and encouragement, and furniture bought especially for her, most often resembles the dressing room floor after the Nordstrom’s half yearly women’s sale.
Clothes are everywhere.
I half-heartedly asked her why she didn’t pick her after herself and place her dirty clothes into the hamper.
In a sweet mood, cherub cheeks more rosy than red, curls wild and endearing, she grinned at me with love and, crinkling her nose, said, “Because I’m a terrible girl!”
Shocked, I gasped a bit, giving her just enough time to issue a mischievous laugh and smile broadly at me.
“Secondo! You are not a terrible girl,” I said, laughing a little now. As I said it, I realized her little comment had put me completely off the scent of teaching the lesson of picking up ones dirty clothes.
It was charming, disarming and spot-on sarcasm.
A bit flabbergasted, I reflected on this incident later, realizing this little munchkin has learned the art of the sarcastic comment – and its power – before she’s learned how to tie her toddler size 12 shoes.