It’s a well-known scientific fact that a child’s brain isn’t fully formed until they reach their early twenties, which goes some way to explaining some of the dumb things they do.
We’re allowed to say that, right? Kids do dumb things. Lucky for them, we’re there to pick up the pieces. I speak from recent, vivid experience, the kind from which you may never recover.
My son Philip, 12, broke his arm playing on wet monkey bars, which seems self-explanatory, however in the AMBULANCE on the WAY TO THE HOSPITAL because the break was SO SEVERE the paramedic was chatting to him to keep him calm and the real story emerged.
My friend and I were using the monkey bars. At first we went from the first rung. Then we decided to jump straight to the second rung and go from there. Then we thought we’d jump straight to the third rung and he did it really easily but when I did it I fell. I heard three cracks.
I’m sitting in the front of the ambulance at this stage sending frantic texts to my husband but after hearing this I needed a moment.
‘Flabbergasted’ doesn’t adequately describe how I felt.
The time our kids made us cringe. Article continues after this video.
Really? I mean, really? And this is a smart kid, one who is mature beyond his years, sensitive and sweet who rarely gives me cause for concern.
Did his brain just simply check out that day?
Child behaviour expert Christopher Thurber, PhD, ABPP, says instead of thinking of it as your kids doing dumb things, think of it as “accidental learning”. In an article for ACA Camps he wrote; “Kids do dumb stuff. It’s built into their brains. It’s simple biology. And no amount of safety measures can stop something that is evolutionarily advantageous. However, safety measures can retard learning when taken to an extreme.”
That means my pledge that “Monkey bars are dead to us” is probably a step to far.
The hunger games
I was driving 14-year-old to school. I had mentioned earlier that I bought some ham if she wanted to put in her sandwich. On the way to school she says “Oh, I made a ham sandwich but I’m not sure what it is.” What do you mean”. “I got the ham out of the fridge and then I saw there was ham on the bench top.” “That was uncooked bacon in the fridge. ” Well, it smelt like ham”. “So you have an uncooked bacon and spinach sandwich?” Well it smelt like ham”. I gave her $5 for a sandwich. I’m hoping she was playing me all along. – Annie, 42.
My son loves tomato sauce and ice-cream so in his mind seeing as he loves both so much they must taste even better together. Tomato sauce and vanilla ice-cream didn’t quite work for him however he insists chocolate ice-cream with chocolate chips, and tomato sauce, is a winning combination. I couldn’t be more repulsed. – Sam, 36.
My daughter cut her own fringe off because she didn't want it anymore, not realising that they way you get rid of a fringe is by growing it out. I was so annoyed. Her hair had been perfect. But I couldn't get too cranky, having done that myself as a little girl. - Ally, 40.
My son's hair has seen better days. It's been smeared with yoghurt, ice-cream, all sorts of foods but the worst one was definitely peanut butter because it was virtually impossible to get out. I had to shampoo it three times. Peanut butter is completely ruined for me. - Kate, 38.
I tried to build an ice-skating rink in my lounge room using ice cubes. SPOILER ALERT: It didn't work. - Jessie, 35.
Watching my daughter try and figure out how to get a toy I'd taken off her for being naughty filled me with admiration. She was determined and proceeded to build various attempts at structures onto which she could climb to retrieve her toy. Her "mountain of pillows" didn't work, nor did jumping up and down on the spot. - Hollie, 39.
Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo know from podcast This Glorious Mess know all to well the dumb things kids can do.
"But it's fun!"
I remember watching a kid at a playground spinning really fast in one of those seats that goes round and round. He eventually stopped, stood up, staggered off, vomited everywhere, his mum cleaned him up, then he staggered back to the seat and started spinning again. - Jacqui, 37.
My son was throwing fallen wattle flowers/pods (whatever they are) with a friend, but picked up a piece of dog sh** instead - started throwing up as a result - fun. - Andy, 29.
My son tried toasting marshmallows on the heater in his bedroom which is one of those safety bar heaters so it didn't do a very good job. He found that by pressing the marshmallows against the heater did an okay job except that the smell of them burning hours later wasn't good and cleaning them off virtually impossible. - Erin, 32.
I was stuck in traffic a couple of weeks ago and noticed a boy throwing something out of the car window. His mum was oblivious. I couldn't see what it was at first and then I saw that it looked like a school notebook. He seemed school-age and I remember wondering if he'd forgotten to do his homework or something. The traffic probably wasn't moving fast enough for him to get rid of the entire book. - Aimee, 34.