Stupid Kids are Better

My kid is smart… maybe. It’s still hard to tell; he’s only four years old! Even Mozart was eating Play-Doh when he was four.

Kids are stupid. It’s one of the reasons they’re so annoying and stressful. But it’s also one of the perks.

I’ve said before that I can’t wait for my son to grow up, so I can see who he becomes. But lately I’ve been reconsidering.

I kind of like him dumb. Stupid kids are better!

My son believes in the Easter Bunny. I know, I said I wasn’t going to teach him the idiotic myth about a giant bunny who spreads chocolate joy all over the land for some reason, but kids pick things up. Especially when those things involve scavenger hunts for candy and toys.

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LOOK! THE BUNNY LEFT AN EGG!

I should be disappointed that he doesn’t see through such obvious nonsense, and that he still believes in Santa Claus, and that he’ll probably believe in the Tooth Fairy once that becomes relevant. But I’m not. Yeah, I want my son to be smart enough to figure stuff out, and he’s already a pretty skeptical little guy (do NOT try to tell him ghosts are real; he will shut you down in a heartbeat!), but his innocent gullibility is actually a lot of fun. Plus, it’s much easier to get him to go to bed when he thinks a magical creature won’t show up with his gifts until he does.

His ignorance is my bliss. I can literally tell my son anything I want.

He reminds of this kid I knew in college who we used to tell all sorts of outlandish lies when we were drunk. One of our friends suddenly had a secret professional bowling career; another friend had his face on Indian currency; etc. The kid ate it all up and we had a blast making him believe nonsense just because we could. That’s what it’s like to have a young child, except you’re sober and there’s no challenge to it and you step on a lot more LEGO pieces. You’re his Mommy or Daddy or friend from the dorm who doesn’t actually like him much, he has no reason to doubt you!

Which is one of the reasons lying to kids is so fun and convenient. Every parent on earth lies to their kids, at least a little bit, to get them to eat dinner (“It tastes like candy!”) or to avoid making another trip to the playground (“It’s closed today, for some reason!”) or to get them to behave (“I just called the cops. If you’re room isn’t clean when they get here, they WILL take you to jail.”) Their blind trust and general idiocy is a blessing (so long as you don’t have much of a conscience).

I’m not a monster. Like any other parent, I want my kid to be smart, eventually. I want him to be savvy and skeptical so that he’s not easily made a fool or taken advantage of (by drunk, jerky college kids). But I also want to be able to take advantage of him, in order to make my life easier and more entertaining! It’s quite a dilemma, but it’s probably out of my hands regardless. He’ll get wise to the world with or without my help, unless I lock him away, in some kind of hip, gender-neutral take on Rapunzel. Unfortunately I remember hating being trapped by his naps, so that won’t work.

Knowledge is annoying. Life is much easier when your kids are stupid.

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So as excited as I am to watch my son come into his own and discover his passions and develop a personality and find a purpose, I’m wary of that development. Intelligence can be a double-edged sword, both for the people who have it and for the people who are the parents of people who have it.

Bottom line? Stupid kids are better… at least for a while.

It’s a lot more fun to make my son fetch me a beer when he doesn’t know what beer is.


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