Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bad Decisions

I realize that every single parent in the world thinks that they have the smartest kid out of all of the kids on the entire planet, and to tell you otherwise will probably come as a shock, but I am going to go ahead and stand by this statement: all kids are stupid. I feel like I can make this generalization with relative certainty being that I am not too far removed from childhood myself. I feel like at this point in my life, I am an intelligent, functional, capable adult. BUT, rewind 10 years, and you're looking at something completely different. Children, no matter how "smart" you think they are, are actually horribly inept at pretty much everything. And I'm not talking about kids under the age of five, or six, or seven. I'm talking pretty much up until you are 15-16 years old, you are completely incapable of demonstrating anything even remotely close to intelligence. 

A child's mind is a twisted, horrible, backward place where decisions and actions do not make sense and the decision-making process can be manipulated by basically anything. I know this because I did some really stupid things as a kid, all because in my head, these really stupid things yielded really awesome results. 

As a kid, I had basically 3 friends, one of which was my sister (don't judge.) The other two friends were girls that lived in my neighborhood. The four of us would romp around the neighborhood doing girly things like building forts, burying our Barbie dolls in the muddy creek head first, climbing trees, peeing on trees, and basically just being all-around disgusting dainty. In the summers, we had a LOT of free time on our hands. One particular summer, we were apparently feeling extra neglected by our parents and craving attention.

For whatever reason, we developed this crazy fixation on the idea that we needed presents. Gifts, toys, new Umbro shorts, Jellies, WE NEEDED THEM. My sister, being the diabolical genius/idiot that she is, was hellbent on figuring out a way for us to weasel some gifts out of our parents. She racked her brain for ideas until she finally thought of one that we all felt was absolute GOLD. Sheer brilliance. Perfection.

fall out of tree = broken arm + sad face = LOTS OF PRESENTS
^^basic arithmetic^^

My sister informed the rest of us of the plan. It was so simple, we couldn't believe we hadn't thought of this gem before. We were all immediately 100% on-board for this.

See, any dumb kid knows that you get presents on your birthday, at Christmas, at Hanukkah, whatever. What WE were smart enough to realize is that you ALSO get presents when you are seriously maimed or injured. My sister reminded us of how awesome it was when I was in third grade and I broke my knee cap, and I got to stay out of school for a really long time and watch TV in bed and stuff my face with Doritos and bacon bagels with Dr. Pepper every day (not so good for my girlish figure.)

So, we decided the best thing to do would be to just climb up in trees and jump out and try to break our arms.

And we jumped. Over and over and over again. And we would intentionally try to land on our arms to break them specifically, because we felt like broken arms were better than broken legs. We would've taken a broken leg, though. We would take what we could get.

Breaking your arms is a lot harder than it sounds. We never did accomplish any broken bones doing this, and never did get any presents for it either. I should also mention that this wasn't something that happened once or twice. This happened like, a lot. Like.... many, many, many days were spent jumping out of trees. Too many.

We weren't really looking at the big picture at the time.... kids are unable to gauge their decisions in relation to long-term effect. There is no long-term benefit to breaking your arm, or any other bone, really. There are bad long-term effects though, like the 50 lbs of flubber I put on when I broke my knee. But whatever.


  1. Haha I love this! Children are as capable of scheming as adults it would appear ;)

  2. I am OBSESSED with this because I can admit that once or twice I may have allowed myself to scrape a knee in order to get more attention than my brother. Whatever. We all do it!