my daughter is starting to have “moments of privacy”.

recently, my girlfriend and i located a stash of dried orange peels in a little corner of her play area in the living room.

on the phone with her dad yesterday, he informed me that he had found, in the corner behind her bed, a little stash of dried orange peels.

we had a good laugh at that one, because it’s true – she will be five in a few weeks, and “sneaky” has risen its head.

she was in her bedroom with a pilfered cookie earlier this afternoon – back to me, standing in the corner, i heard the crinkle of the wrapper (it came from a box of imported European cookies) and then a mischievous grin as i walked in there, flipped the light on and asked if she was ready to go.

she was on her way to daddy’s, and i had to inform him that i’d also found some “objects” in another stash corner of her part of the bedroom (we live in a tiny cabin, and there IS only one bedroom, and so she has two thirds of it, and i have a bed sort of thrown into the corner, because it doesn’t matter all that much to us.

“yeah,” he laughed, as i told him i’d found play money tucked into a corner. “i found a stash of play money over here, too.”

We still haven’t determined the origins of the play money, nor of the little clipboard that appeared in the back seat one day. Daddy did not buy that either.

Simultaneously, my daughter has appeared to have absorbed phonics by osmosis. It has been automatic and instant and seemingly out of nowhere. My child is teaching herself to read somehow, and is pretty sharp with a five finger discount.

Earlier this afternoon, I also found her in the bathroom, back toward the door. When she heard me walk up I saw her arms move in a sort of “oh shit there’s mom” protective stance and so of course I walked over to see what was happening. It was pretty genius, really – earlier that afternoon we’d taken a cardboard mask, punched a couple of holes in the sides of it, and then grabbed a piece of elastic from my sewing kit and tied it on. simple kid stuff.

in the bathroom, she’d taken a really small little circle of cardboard, punched two holes in either side, and then cut one of my hairbands apart with her scissors and made a mask for one of the bathtub duckies. she thought i might be upset that she was taking scissors to non-traditional materials. it had happened before, to other “non-traditional” materials I was saving for, you know, maybe sewing or something.

how this is interesting to anyone other than me is a question i cannot answer. I know its truthful response: it is the mind-numbing stuff of parents, to watch our children develop life skills.

Or in my child’s case, her shoplifting skills. Her sneaking around skills. Her broadening independence.

We laugh, because we know she’s our child.

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