Last night Trixie choose a large Valentine lollipop for dessert. She tore into it and I watched her working on it for a little while before she wandered off. Shortly thereafter she approached me with a bag of sweethearts in hand.
I didn’t want to talk about the sweethearts request because the lollipop was a BIG one, and there was no way she had finished it.
“Where’s the lollipop, Trixie?”
“I don’t know.”
When sticky candy is involved, an answer like that will not go far. After explaining that she’s not getting any more candy until we find the sucker, she backpedals and says it’s in the trash.
I look in the trash and don’t see anything there. She insists it’s there. “But there’s nothing on top, Trixie. It’s not there.”
At that point, much to my dismay, Trixie digs into the full (overflowing) garbage can — through coffee grounds, dinner scraps and wet junk mail — and pulls her lollipop out.
“You hid it in the bottom of the garbage?”
That’s pretty interesting behavior. I explained that she doesn’t need to hide stuff, not just because Mommy and Daddy will always find out, but because we can talk about anything.
The cool part to me is that Trixie is forming and implementing a mental model of how the world works. In this case she decided that if you get rid of the evidence, you get rid of the problem. Not the best idea, but certainly testable. I also think it puts her on par with many adults, except adults are not usually as forthcoming. Interesting stuff.