Anna Bradfield Writes

Discovering the extraordinary in everyday life

Schooled by a Kid: Four Steps to Transparency

Kids are the cutest, aren’t they? It’s always amazing when they teach you something, something you kinda sorta know but can’t quite define. My grandson, Lincoln, schooled me not too long ago.

You would have thought we were Mickey and Minnie Mouse when we popped in to see my daughter’s family. The kids went nuts, cracking up and dancing around us, holding their hands up in invitation, throwing those arms around our necks as we smothered them in kisses.

After the initial rush, Lincoln asked my husband, “Big Poppy, can I use your phone?” He was three years old at the time, and he already knew more about technology than I could ever hope to learn. He could navigate any gadget. His Big Poppy told him that it was, “Okay, but don’t download any more games.” John also told him that, “When Big Poppy asks for the phone back, you need to give it to me, okay?”

Of course it was okay then. It would be hours before Big Poppy would ask for the phone again. Or so Lincoln reasoned. Off he went, happy to re-connect with his best techno friends, the Angry Birds.

Before Lincoln knew it and way before he was ready to say goodbye to…uh…the phone, his Big Poppy declared that we would be leaving in a few and that he would need his phone back.

Lincoln knows the rule all too well. He knows that if he throws a fit, it’ll be awhile before he gets the privilege again. Yet he just couldn’t resist wanting what he wanted, when he wanted it, and for the length of time that he saw fit.

As our time to leave drew ever nearer, I was just about to ask where Lincoln was when I spotted his toes, peeking out from under a blanket that blended in seamlessly with the sofa. He had pulled the whole blanket over his head and body. He thought he’d made himself invisible. His three-year-old mind probably reasoned that, if no one could find him, he just might get to keep the phone. Darned if those little piggies didn’t give him away!

Well, of course Big Poppy couldn’t leave without his phone. And it was at that moment that we saw a new side of Lincoln. In an instant, he morphed from his adorable, well-mannered, curly-headed self to a bat-shrieking, monkey-clinging monster whose very existence depended on retaining that phone!

His mom took charge right away, saying, “See ya. Thanks for stopping by,” as she dragged Lincoln out of the room. We had barely gotten the car started when John’s phone rang.

“Hi, Big Poppy. This is Lincoln.”

“Well, hi, Lincoln.”

“Big Poppy. I’m sorry for crying when you asked for your phone. I shouldn’t-a given you sass, Big Poppy. I won’t do it again, Big Poppy.”

Oh…my…gosh. So precious!

I found my life lesson in Lincoln’s transparency:

1)      Realize you screwed up

2)      Admit to it

3)      Apologize sincerely

4)      Don’t waste time doing it

Do you realize how well this would serve us if we could harness this little habit that kids seem to be famous for? Hello! How much more healthy would our work and family relationships be? How much more would we like ourselves?

Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, tell us what a kid has taught you lately.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/9619972@N08/2138658529/”>just.Luc</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

About Anna Bradfield

Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.

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