"Sa-fris-thak" said my 3 year old daughter.
"No honey" I replied. "It's pronounced sadistic."
"Sa-lis-tum" she says, drawing out each syllable to make the word actually sound cute. "Ok Daddy, I'm Sa-lis-tum! Yea!"
It's obvious that she wasn't getting this lecture, it wasn't sinking in.
She twirled the nylon rope around a new stuffed animal as she waited for me to continue. the other end of the nylon rope was currently hanging around the neck of Harry the Horse. Harry the Horse was tied to a doorknob, dangling from his neck. If there was a breeze, I would describe Harry as swaying in it. I suppose I don't have to mention that it was my 3 year old that strung him up. And she was in the process of doing it again to Mr. Rabbit, a gentle soul that had never hurt anyone. Lord only knows what Mr. Rabbit did. At least I know that Harry the Horse was getting uppity and was a possible cattle rustler. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Rabbit was innocent.
Like most things, this is mostly my fault. she has been intrigued by ropes and knots for a while now. She, almost evil genius like, has also figured out how to tie knots on her own. I didn't show her this. There is the proud father part of me that says "Gee, look how innovative and smart my daughter is. She'll be tying her shoes in no time." But there is also the concerned parent that thinks "Wow, is she really strangling that stuffed animal like it owes her money?" But when I had brought a bright pink neon rope home, she just couldn't help herself. I needed the rope to tie some things down during a move and the neon pink was all they had. Without realizing it, I had made this rope irresistible. Could this have played out any different?
"Honey, you can't tie things up. It's not good baby doll. It's a little sadistic."
I know the next logical step here. One day I'll find her little brother hog tied in a closet somewhere with a ball gag asking me if I'm Zed. She'll call it playing, I'll call it devious. But we won't get bogged down on the details just yet. It's best to whip it in the bud early on before her voices tell her to burn down the house.
"I'm playing Daddy. It o.k." she says.
"It's not ok baby, it hurts Harry. He doesn't like it."
Her brow furrows and I think this gets through to her. She doesn't like to hurt things. When she does, it's mostly an accident. She's rough and tumble, no doubt as being raised by her father, and she is amazingly strong for one so young. When she's excited, I would run if she wants to give you a hug. She doesn't know her own strength yet and the lowly peasants are paying the price for it.
"It hurt Harry, daddy?" she asks.
She goes and unties Harry and gives him a hug and kisses his owies. I give her a pat on the head and tell her she's a good girl. About this time the cat decides to run by. She looks at him, at me, and then bolts after him, neon pink rope in hand.