Hashem Goes Light-Speed
From our archives: Sept 2002
According to Dad’s little expert, household mischief is more fun than any ordinary game.
“Click”… “Click”… “Click”… Our home electric bill has gone up recently. It’s not that we’re using the air conditioners any more than usual. It’s not that we have any new appliances. It’s that Hashem has discovered a new toy. Actually, several of these toys exist in every room of the house. They make a nice “clicking” noise. He knows they are in some mysterious way connected to the sudden burst of light he sees, but he hasn’t quite figured out how.
Anyone who’s been around curious kids knows what I’m talking about. Hashem’s new toy that he loves to show off to people is the light switch. Its height is barely in reach if he stands on his tip- toes. This gives him the impression that it’s something he’s not supposed to touch, but that he’s managed to defy his parents by finding innovative ways to reach it. Sometimes he even stands on a book or the head of his teddy bear to get the extra precious centimeter he needs. After he clicks the switch, he looks around sheepishly to see if anyone has spotted him. Once, I decided to use some reverse child psychology, so I applauded him when he turned on the light, thinking that he’d lose interest after finding out that it was “okay” to play with it. Mistake. What he immediately did was run, at an amazing speed, to every light switch in the living room (almost like a homing pigeon) and turn on all the lights. The second mistake I made was to yell “No”. Of course, he proceeded to the kitchen to find more switches.
I can imagine what goes on in his little head. In through his ears, the word “no” is channeled to his brain. Although it only has to travel a short distance, “no” is somehow transformed into the word “yes”. It is then processed by his brain and amplified into the phrase, “bravo, more”. It then passes behind his eyes (I know this because they suddenly get bigger and have a streak of devilishness in them) and down to his mouth where a high pitched shrill comes out. Simultaneously, his legs start pumping and his arms fly up in the air as he sprints around the house.
So, in order to try to minimize electricity costs, I did what any logical person would do. I got up out of my chair and chased him around the room turning off the lights. Mistake number three! Then I even tried distracting him with something as I flipped the switches. Even though he couldn’t see my hand, the little guy could hear the “click… click… click,” so he got even more excited. Apparently, we had just invented a new game! Next thing I knew, I was on the floor exhausted, with Hashem towering over me triumphantly and every light in the house burning brightly!
We’ve tried conventional games. His grandparents, aunts and uncles have bought him several puzzles, stuffed animals, toy cars etc. He likes them, but what he fancies the most are the boxes they come in. He also likes all kinds of balls. Tennis balls are nice, but he has a bright blue racquetball that bounces wildly. He loves that the most. I’d like to think that is because he’s destined to be an athlete, although I have a suspicion that he loves to throw it at things he can’t reach and therefore destroy objects he normally isn’t allowed to touch. (If only he’d use his gifts for “good” instead of “evil”.) Seriously though, he’s a good kid. I guess the tradeoff is that satisfying his curiosity is more important than a few objects around the house. Of course, his mom wishes sometimes that he’d spare her things and focus more on his own room.
Well, the good news is that since summer began, most of our games have been outdoors. He’s been to the beach and loves it. Allegedly, his father (so I’m told) took some time before he got used to the feeling of the sand, but for Hashem, it was no problem. He seemed right at home rolling around and trying to hold on to grains of sand as they slipped through his fingers. Funny thing is, he tried for about 15 minutes to “hold” the sand but just couldn’t. I’m not sure how to interpret that. I’d like to think that he’s incredibly persistent and determined. He didn’t like the way it tasted, though. He’s getting ready to go swimming now. He loves the water! I can’t wait to see if he tries to “grab” that too.
Hassan is a father of two young boys who enjoys writing about their adventures as they navigate through life.