Common sense defined by Merriam-Webster: “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. Or, as dictionary.com defines it: “sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.”
My children are smart. All parents think their kids are intelligent and I am no exception; they are truly above average and then some. They are not genius material but do learn quickly and tend to use their knowledge appropriately. My daughter has an imagination that is quite extraordinary and we nurture it in both of our children. But sometimes her imagination leads her astray and I have asked myself, friends and my husband a very serious question, “when does common sense kick in?”
My husband’s answer was “at about age 40”, others just laughed. There definitely is some truth to my husband’s answer; I know of plenty of adults that I have wondered what happened to their common sense, but there is a base level that you would expect a young child to have too. My daughter recently started evoking faces completely baffled and confused from me by some of her seeming innocent antics.
There are some common behaviors that I know many mothers face that may be more related to defiance than lacking common sense such as sitting at the table in the chair with buns on the seat or not nose picking. But some of these other nonsensical behaviors really leave me baffled because I thought I had done well teaching her at age 3 what to do/not to do.
Her most recent barbarics included randomly lifting her dress up in a tire store; there was no purpose, no goal, and no reason. Another day, she blows her nose into a tissue then proceeds to shake the tissue out; defies the purpose of the tissue. At least she used a tissue that time because another day she needed to blow her nose but began to use her hand until appallingly; I gasped and yelled for her to go get a tissue. Then one day she came from gymnastics class after running, jumping, grabbing, swinging and sweating with other germy little five year olds and LICKED HER HANDS! Why? No idea.
I am not sure when exactly my daughter regressed in the area of “normal native intelligence.” Maybe she is just new to making her own independent decisions of what she thinks is appropriate, without her mother guiding her as I did when she was a young toddler bumbling through life. But now she thinks she knows full well the “big kid” way to act and exerts her way of thinking often, much to my dismay.
I do not include my son in this common sense-less diatribe because he is still a toddler, just now two years old and clearly has limited abilities to make sound and prudent judgments about anything. Otherwise, he would not lick water colors off of his hand, throw matchbox cars at his mother’s face (illustrated here),or pull things out of the trash. He will learn, and then likely revert when he is 5.
While I seek lessons in the joyful and in the challenging moments throughout my life, I am struggling to find a lesson in my child’s lack of common sense. The best I can come up with is that life is full of nonsense. Days may be good or bad and there is not always a reason though I desperately seek one. Maybe this phase of native stupidity is to teach me patience, though I am very much a novice in that area. Or maybe it is just another one of the many parenting stages that make us greatly appreciate the next one by virtue of the fact it is different. For now, I will challenge myself to be less baffled and more expectant of the next ludicrous moment and to embrace the phase of nonsense of which I am living.