Conal has this puzzle that he loves. It’s a wooden board puzzle, with 8 or so zoo animals on it. If you ask him where the zebra goes, he will point to the zebra’s space. Same for the lion. And the elephant, and the giraffe, and all the rest.

I think this is cute.

As I learned tonight, so does my family. Which leads me to my confession:

I confess that I made my child perform tonight.

It is true. I have become that person.

We were sitting out on the screened-in porch and I asked Conal to get his puzzle. He trotted off to his playroom and then I realized that the puzzle was up on the shelf so I followed him, took the puzzle off the shelf and handed it to him. He took it and went back out to the porch where he promptly sat down in front of Grandma and dumped the pieces on the floor.

I then proceeded to sit next to him and ask, “Where does the panda go?” He pointed correctly. My mom praised him lavishly. So I kept it up. “Where does the tiger go?” Same result. “Where does the parrot go?” Again, same result.

And so it went.

We all clapped and cheered and Conal smiled and laughed. I was a proud mama because, you know, he’s so smart! So able to identify the animals! And show us where they go! And he follows direction! And tells us all that the cow says, “Moo!”

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. And I’m planning on getting a grip. Planning on NOT making Conal perform. At least not on a regular basis. After all, he’s just a little jobber.

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