So, this picture bears some explanation. I still smile each time I see it. I took it a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday. Koan does not enjoy weekends all that much. School days are much more interesting for him. As with most kids, boredom often equals mischief. On this particular day, I heard a strange set of sounds coming from our master bedroom. Koan was talking. He wasn’t in distress, but his voice sounded really strange. It was unlike any sound I’ve ever heard him make. So, I got up and investigated. I just about fell over laughing when I saw his situation. He managed to enter our master bedroom (a room he’s not allowed to access by himself) and trapped himself under our bed. Yes, I did take time to take the picture before freeing him. He got himself into that mess, so he rightfully, just like any other person, deserves a little mocking before being released. Koan doesn’t or can’t (I’m not sure which it is frankly) move on his belly — he never “army crawls”. So, how he got his head and shoulders that far under the bed while on his stomach is anyone’s guess. But, he was truly and fully stuck — going nowhere. This was a little like Koan’s “Leave It to Beaver” moment — the one where the Beav get’s his head stuck in the stairway banister. Of course, this predicament was a little easier for us to solve.
What’s not as obvious, but nevertheless also undoubtedly true about this photo, is that it show just how much Koan has trained or modified the behavior of everyone in the family. Over the past year or so Koan has developed a new habit. He will cry and get upset everytime he hears a door close in the house. I think there are at least couple of reasons for this that are pretty rational — even cleaver. First and foremost, Koan associates the sound of a door closing with someone leaving the house — without him. In his mind, this is a completely unacceptable outcome. He so enjoys travel, that regardless of where someone is going, he wants to go every time.
However, in the last few months, he’s generalized his dislike of the “door closing” sound to all doors in the house — the basement door, any of the bedroom doors, the bathroom door, etc… This is, as you might imagine, pretty annoying. My guess is the main reason for this is that he also realizes that when a door closes — not only might someone be leaving without him, but almost as importantly (to him) someone has possibly, unilaterally restricted his access to movement throughout the house. It doesn’t matter to him that this is by design — we don’t want him tumbling down the basement stairs or getting into the bathrooms. But, here’s the interesting part, his displeasure at this sound has subtly modified everyone else’s behavior.
Because, he hates that particular sound so much and we all know it, we’ve all developed our own set of coping skills. Sometimes, I’ll try to shut a door so intentionally as to avoid making the sound at all. Others will sometimes not latch a door (giving the door the appearance of being closed without being latched) — it’s the latching sound that he objects to. And, other times, I think I’ve latched the door softly, but in fact, the door is not really latched at all. All of these behaviors play right into Koan’s master plan. One of his favorite pastimes is to scoot up to doors and push them to see if they are latched. More times than you’d think, he succeeds in getting into a space that we don’t want him to access. So, he’s trained us to let him misbehave — the twerp!
Part of my glee in taking the picture above is that he got a little dose of karma. He got into a space he was not supposed to be in — he knew that, too. And, he got stuck. I find this is one of the great rewards of parenting, any child, when mischief reaps it’s own just reward.