The Child and I got a book from the library about a princess who floats. She has to wear weighted clothing, and a heavy crown, to keep her from floating away. On one page, she sits watching children from the kingdom frolicking in the royal gardens. She is sad to be stuck inside, tied to her chair (for safety, of course).
I asked my own kid, “How do you think she feels?”
“I don’t know.”
This is his answer to all questions: I don’t know. It comes in handy when doing things like having 9-1-1 drills with him.
Me, as a fake operator: What is your emergency?
Him: My momma needs help.
Fake me: Where is your momma?
Him: At home.
Fake me: Do you know your address?
Him: [Correct street name]
Fake me: Okay, and what’s the number?
Him: I don’t know.
Sunnofa…he knows the number.
Real me: Oh. Okay, well, where do we have the house number written down?
Him: Outside on the house. But I don’t wanna go out there.
And then I fake died. Okay, not really. But having a kid who has nothing to prove is its own special surprise.
There we were, back, at our kitchen table, reading the library book. He didn’t want to say how the princess was feeling. (He’s read the book with me several times, and we have talked about her sadness. He knows. He knows.) I tried another angle:
“How would you feel if you were inside looking out our window, and you couldn’t play with the kids outside?”
“Happy. I’d be happy. Because I’d stay inside and play with trains.”
My kid, man. He is no sad princess.