My husband and I watch a lot of spy shows. I’m not sure what the appeal is for him, but I’m intrigued by the idea of pretending to be someone other than who you are and of having a whole part of yourself that you can’t share with anyone else. I have no desire to be a spy. I’m far too honest, don’t like guns and violence, and think the stress of the job would do me in within a matter of weeks. LadyBug, on the other hand, seems to have set her sights on a career in espionage.
Her first spy skill is her ability to keep a secret. It could be the answer to a simple question like, “What would you like for lunch?” She insists that she’s hungry, but keeps her lips firmly sealed when you ask what she’d like to eat. A sandwich? Some yogurt? But she’s not going to give in that easily. Instead, she takes on a enigmatic smile that puts the Mona Lisa to shame. She’s good at complex secrets, too. For example, she’ll wake you up at 4 in the morning screaming like the house is on fire (is that a spy skill as well?), but will not, no matter how much you beg or bribe, tell you what the problem is. We have not yet attempted to torture her (pretty sure that’s not allowed on toddler spies), but I wouldn’t be surprised if she simply laughed it off. I’m telling you, she’s probably at the head of her Toddler Spy Class.
LadyBug’s second spy skill is a creative manipulation of the truth. This skill is related to the last one, but all that much more insidious. Of course she’ll tell her that her pull-up is clean when it’s not. That’s Toddler Spy Training 101. You don’t earn high honors for anything that simple. LadyBug can easily and quickly create an alternate reality. Ask her what we did today and she might tell you that we visited her grandparents and played with her cousins. Sounds plausible, but it’s simply not true. And don’t underestimate her by assuming that she’s just confused by the passage of time. Call her on her lie and she’ll smile just enough to let you know that she knows she’s been caught. She is so creative, in fact, that I’m almost never sure if she’s telling me the truth. Sure, she might have spent the day at preschool playing with the blocks, but it could have just as easily been the sandbox. I’ll never know.
The skill that LadyBug really excels at is the art of torture. You absolutely cannot show any weakness around her or she will exploit it. Do you want her to go
to her room for some reason? Don’t count on it. She’s already hiding on the other side of the house. Have you asked her 5 times to stop playing in the sink? Rest assured, that’s what she’ll do next. And if she’s good at torturing her parents, you can only imagine her skill level when it comes to her brother. She knows just the right toy to kick out of the way to get him to scream in anger. She knows the nickname that will make him howl in frustration. And she knows just where to poke/hit/squeeze him to make him start to cry. Most impressive of all, she can infuriate the entire family in just a matter of seconds.
Clearly, our daughter is a prodigy. In addition to the amazing talents I mentioned above, she can put together a disguise in no time at all, charm even the most reluctant adults and make almost anyone laugh with minimal effort. We’re pretty proud of her and know she’ll go on to do great things. Now, if only I can figure out what she wants for lunch…