Priya brought me a package of applesauce today as I sat on the couch with my visiting teachers. The package consists (if you didn't know) of six small containers with foil lids on top. I removed one for her and asked her to return the package to the pantry.
"I can't," she replied. "It's too heavy."
I did not bother pointing out that she had just carried a package of six from the pantry to the couch without trouble and that it was, in fact, lighter now that I had removed one.
"Well," I informed her, "I won't open this one for you until you put these back."
After she saw that her whining and crying and fussing was falling on deaf ears, she finally took the package of applesauce and made her way toward the pantry. It would seem, however, that she had been telling the truth, since her return trip consisted of two steps, at most, whereupon she gave a cry of alarm, dropped the applesauce, and fell to the ground. Then she picked up the applesauce, stood up, and repeated the process--two steps, cry, drop, fall--five more times before she finally made it to the pantry where she just managed to slide the applesauce onto the lowest shelf before collapsing in exhaustion.
I don't know where she found the energy to return to the couch for her now-opened bowl, take it back to the kitchen table without spilling, and eat it all in less time than it took to return the package to the pantry, but mine is not to question why.
I do wonder, however, if I'm going to make it through her teenage years. Please, logic fairies, take pity on me and my brilliantly stubborn four-year-old!