Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mr. Know-It-All

In case you didn't know, he lives with us. Mr. Know-It-All, that is. He goes by the alias, The Monster and sleeps in the top bunk right above Cashman. He is 4 years old, 3 1/2 feet tall, and he knows everything.

Got a broken washing machine? He knows whats wrong with it and how to fix it.

Think you've gotten lost while driving? He knows exactly where you are and has been there many times before.

Try to teach him to read. He already knows how, so don't bother.

Sign him up for soccer. Tell him about practices and games. No need to. He knows all about soccer.

This type of attitude gets very tiresome. It is also very familiar for a reformed know-it-all herself. Yes, I admit. I was one of those kids. And now in hindsight I can see why my mother would get so frustrated and just throw her hands up, because I knew everything and would tell any and everybody about it.

I think in a way, being intelligent can be a curse. The Monster is a very very very bright kid. I might be biased, but anyone who knows him can attest to this fact. But there are times when I wish he wasn't so bright.

Ouch. That is not nice to even admit to thinking, but wouldn't it possibly be a little easier if he didn't question everything or behave like the know-it-all he is? Maybe, maybe not.

It's hard to respond to these episodes of know-it-allism. Usually I look him straight in the eye, remind him he is a child and not an adult, tell him that no, he does not know it all and practice and listening is the only way he is going to learn it all. The other day, I regretted my standard reply.

We arrived at his first soccer game. Windy, overcast, and downright cold. He immediately withdrew into himself and I could tell we were about to be dealing with the emotional Monster who wasn't going to do anything asked of him. He didn't want to play, he wouldn't talk to his coach, he wouldn't even sit with his team on the bench. He super-glued himself to my leg and hid his face in the hood of his raincoat. I put on my super-caring mommy cape and tried to find out why he was suddenly determined not to play.

He leaned in close to my ear and whispered, "Mommy, you're right. I don't know everything about soccer. I don't know anything about it at all."

Score! One for team mommy. Right?
Wrong. Mommy felt like kicking herself in the shin for bringing Mr. Know-It-All down to earth.

I'm pretty sure I had been acting like Mrs. Mommy Know-It-All the whole time. What's wrong with letting a kid have confidence, even if it gets a little annoying at times? I don't know, but if you do I wish you'd fill me in. I thought I knew everything about this parenting gig. Turns out I don't. I don't know much about it at all.


  1. Aww, how sweet of him to admit that he didn't know it all, after all! Hang in there. I had a very strong willed toddler who is now a model teenager, if there is such a thing!Happy Saturday Sharefest.

  2. My twelve year old... yep! They don't get any better...

    BUt hey, they'll become very successful when they grow up. I had a couple of them as friends in high school and college - and they are ALL very intelligent and successful. So we just have to wait a few years before they actually DO know it all...

    Happy Saturday Sharefest!
    Please come visit...


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