Life, kids etc.

With great power comes great responsibility

Electric batterie brand Duracell.

A dangerous weapon in the hands of an imaginative child.

JUST a couple of years into being a parent, you develop what Peter Parker calls “spidey sense”.

Our four-year-old got my spidey sense tingling this morning when he walked into our bedroom at the crack of dawn and asked politely: “Can batteries break windows?”

Now that’s the kind of open-ended question that has the power to rouse you from your sleep instantly, isn’t it?.

To the uninitiated, ie the non-parent, it’s a plain enough question from an enquiring mind. But parents know it’s one of those iceberg questions – there is much more to it beneath the surface.

Experienced mums and dads know he wasn’t asking out of simple curiosity. Oh no. Our spidey sense and alertness to danger told us he was asking for a very clear reason. In fact, he may as well have declared: “I am planning something that is both off the wall and very possibly dangerous – that OK with you?”

Needless to say, both myself and my wife saw our parental spidey sense kick into overdrive and we sprung to attention.

Our many questions ended with: “And what are you hiding behind your back?”

To which he sheepishly revealed a handful of Duracell AAAs.

I have no idea where he got them.

We calmly explained that yes, batteries can break windows, and gave a gentle warning that whatever he was thinking of doing might not be such a good idea. He seemed happy with that and trotted off to leave us to catch up with our sleep.

I can only imagine he simply wanted to throw the batteries at the windows, for some reason. I’m not bothered what that reason is, though. One thing I have learnt over the past few years is not to spend too long wondering about what is going on in their tiny heads at times like this.

It pays not to worry too much about what type of window-battery madness they have dreamt up. Be zen about the whole thing, accept you will never understand their motivation for any oddball act and appreciate the fact your spidey sense alerted you to the danger which you were then able to avoid. Although that’s easy for me to say – not many parents are lucky enough to have such a sensible child. You know, one who checks with a grown up before hurling batteries at fragile glass. That’s what passes for sensible in a house with children.

UPDATE: When we went to put the TV on later that morning, we found the remote wasn’t working. Further investigation revealed the batteries had been removed.


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